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Malawian President Pardons Gay Couple On 'Humanitarian Grounds'; U.S. Praises Move

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  • kristen cheney
    *For those of you following this story. I m writing about similar issues in Uganda right now.* *--KC * *Malawian President Pardons Gay Couple On Humanitarian
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2010
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      For those of you following this story. I'm writing about similar issues in Uganda right now.


      Malawian President Pardons Gay Couple On 'Humanitarian Grounds'; U.S. Praises Move

      Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika "on Saturday pardoned a gay couple who had been sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered their release but insisted that homosexuality was still illegal in his conservative southern African nation," the Associated Press/TIME reports. The president "announced the pardon on 'humanitarian grounds only' during a press conference with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Lilongwe, the capital," the news service continues (Tenthani, 5/29).

      The U.S. praised the move by Mutharika, Agence France-Presse reports. "We hope that President Mutharika's pardon marks the beginning of a new dialogue which reflects the country's history of tolerance and a new day for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Malawi and around the globe," according to a White House statement released Saturday (5/29). In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton echoed the White House's reaction to the pardoning of the Malawian prisoners (5/30).

      Debate Over HIV/AIDS Testing In Zambia

      A high court in Zambia on Friday ruled that the Zambian Air Force (ZAF) violated the human rights of two employees when it tested them for HIV without their knowledge and subsequently fired them, IOL reports (5/28). BBC News looks at the debate over HIV testing in Zambia. According to the news service, "It is estimated that one in seven Zambian adults have the virus, yet only around 15% have gone for voluntary counselling and testing (VCT)." The article features comments from Elizabeth Mataka, the U.N. secretary general's special envoy for AIDS in Africa, the former president of the Zambia Medical Association, and several human rights advocates, who weigh in on mandatory testing's potential affect on HIV/AIDS rates in Zambia and the country's health system as well as fears over how it could lead to increasing stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS (Fidgen, 5/28).

      "Inhabit the contradictions." --Angela Davis
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