Madonna condemns jailing of Gay Malawi couple
Friday 21 May 2010
Madonna today condemned a Malawian court decision to jail a gay couple for 14 years - and demanded it be challenged "in the name of human dignity".
The two men were handed the maximum sentence yesterday, which included hard labour, under Malawi's anti-gay laws.
The case of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza has drawn international condemnation and ignited a human rights debate about the conservative southern African country.
The couple were arrested the day after their engagement party, and were jeered by a mob as they were driven to prison.
Madonna called upon the people of Malawi and around the world to challenge the ruling which she described as a "giant step backward".
The singer said: "I am shocked and saddened by the decision made... by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison.
"As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, colour, religion, or sexual orientation."
She said of the decision: "Malawi took a giant step backward.
"The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.
"I call upon the progressive men and women of Malawi - and around the world - to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all."
Madonna has taken a keen interest in issues in Malawi and has two adopted children from the country, David Banda and Chifundo "Mercy" James.
Two years ago her documentary about the devastating effects of Aids in Malawi titled I Am Because We Are, was screened during the Cannes Film Festival.
"I went to Malawi thinking I was going to save children's lives," Madonna said previously.
"But the surprise was how much they changed me and how much growth occurred inside of me."
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled killing two women residents
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says conflict may 'continue for a long time' as hundreds of Palestinians flee their homes
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...
£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...