via Edge, by Kilian Melloy

Last December, a male same-sex couple in Malawi who celebrated their engagement to one another were arrested under that country’s “decency” laws. Ever since, Steven Monjeza, 26, and his fiancée, Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, have been held in prison in Blantyre, Malawi, and reportedly have been subjected to intrusive medical examinations to determine whether they have engaged in anal sex.

The couple’s arrest has led to international protests and warnings that Malawi, which relies heavily on international aid, could risk alienating nations that provide crucially needed funds. However, the government has refused to yield in the case, with Information Minister Leckford Mwanza Thoto saying in January that Monjeza and Chimbalanga were “clearly breaking the laws of Malawi,” and adding, “As [a] government we cannot interfere in the court process.” Thoto went on to say, “We depend on our Western friends, yes, but we are a sovereign country.”

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