Les États-Unis accueillent le pardon du Malawi pour le couple homosexuel emprisonné.
Sat May 29, 1:33 pm ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Saturday welcomed a pardon granted by Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika to a gay couple sentenced to prison, and said it could start "a new dialogue" on tolerance.
The White House issued the statement following news that Malawi's leader had issued the pardon after holding talks with UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
"The White House is pleased to learn of President Bingu wa Mutharika's pardon of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza," spokesman Robert Gibbs said in the statement.
"These individuals were not criminals and their struggle is not unique."
Ban had commended the lifting of the sentence, which had been met with outrage by the United States, Europe and rights groups, and called on Malawi's parliament to change the country's laws.
A court had sentenced Monjeza, 26, and his 20-year-old partner Chimbalanga to 14 years hard labor for sodomy, after they were arrested on December 28 following a symbolic wedding.
"We must all recommit ourselves to ending the persecution and criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity," the White House statement said.
"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."