The United Nations AIDS task force has announced its plan to legally challenge Malawi over the country’s laws criminalizing homosexuality, according to The Christian Post.
On March 17, UNAIDS, the Malawi Law Society and local human rights organizations, will petition a high court to overturn the southern African country’s law on homosexuality by ruling it unconstitutional. The groups will also challenge the convictions of three gay men who were placed behind bars for their sexual activies back in 2011. Being convicted of homosexual activities carries a 14-year prison sentence in Malawi.
The controversial law has strained relations between the country and the rest of the world. Malawi’s harsh treatment of gays first came to public view in 2009 when two men were arrested and charged with public indecency for getting married. The men were later pardoned by late President Bingu wa Mutharika after pressure from the United Nations and other countries.
The latest cry against the outlandish and cruel anti-gay laws in many parts of Africa comes on the heels of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signing a bill criminalizing same-sex relationships.
Western governments and civil rights groups have widely condemned the Nigerian law, stating that it will not only incite violence but also lead to witch hunts.