Homophobia on the rise in Africa: rights group

Tiwonge Chimbalanga (R), and his gay partner Steven Monjeza are seen in Liongwe, on June 2, 2010, five days after Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned them. Malawi drew worldwide condemnation for the jailing of the couple for 14-years with hard labour for sodomy. During the course of the trial, Mutharika called homosexuality "evil and very bad before the eyes of God".
Tiwonge Chimbalanga (R), and his gay partner Steven Monjeza are seen in Liongwe, on June 2, 2010, five days after Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned them. Malawi drew worldwide condemnation for the jailing of the couple for 14-years with hard labour for sodomy. During the course of the trial, Mutharika called homosexuality “evil and very bad before the eyes of God”.

“These poisonous laws must be repealed and the human rights of all Africans upheld,” said Widney Brown, Amnesty International’s director of Law and Policy.

Between June and November 2012, at least seven people in the region, five of them lesbians, were murdered in hate-motivated crimes, it said.

Island nations like Cape Verde, Seychelles and Mauritius were applauded for “positive developments” in working towards decriminalising homosexuality.

Uganda was cited as one of the leading states that have sought to toughen laws criminalising homosexuality, including introducing a bill that seeks to impose the death penalty for ‘aggravated’ homosexuality.

Under the bill, those who fail to report violations within 24 hours could face prosecution.

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