United States Ambassador to Virginia Palmer has expressed shock over the recent arrest of a gay couple in the capital Lilongwe.
Police in Lilongwe on December 7 arrested two Malawian men identified as Cuthbert Kulemela, 19, and Kelvin Gonani, 39 for allegedly being caught having sex.
The two were charged with sodomy contrary section 153 of the Penal Code.
Writing on US Embassy official Facebook page, Palmer urged the Malawi government to reverse its decision, saying the arrest is unlawful.
“As the U.S. Ambassador to Malawi I am closely following the December 7 arrest of two Malawian citizens who were charged with sodomy in violation of section 153 of the Penal Code and subjected to a medical examination without their consent.
“I remind the government of its stated policy not to arrest, detain, charge, or pursue people engaged in consensual same-sex activity. The rights of LGBTI persons are human rights. As a matter of human rights, public health, and public order, LGBTI persons should not be discriminated against in any way,” she said.
She added: “I urge the government to make good on its international human rights obligations, drop the charges, and resolve this unfortunate incident as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile the Malawi Police Service has denied arresting the gay couple, saying what they did was protecting them from mob justice.