Malawi has announced that it will stop arresting people for having gay sex, and will review its anti-gay laws.

Responding to questions from the UN Human Rights Committee, Justice Minister Janet Chikaya-Banda said the country would stop arresting people for same-sex acts while a review of the country’s anti-gay laws is completed.

She said the review had stalled due to financial constraints, despite a ruling last autumn by the High Court to review the constitutionality of the laws.

The ruling came after three men sentenced under the country’s anti-gay laws began an appeal to the High Court.

In May 2012,¬†President Joyce Banda initially pledged to repeal the laws, but later declared that Malawi was ‚Äúnot ready‚ÄĚ to decriminalise homosexuality.

Enforcement of anti-gay laws was temporarily halted in November 2012, when then-Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara directed arrests to stop, pending a debate in parliament.

However, after a fierce reaction from churches and lobbying groups,enforcement of the laws was reinstated a few days later.

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Malawi with custodial sentences of up to 14 years imprisonment.

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