HUMAN RIGHTS

Malawi Pardons Gay Couple

Bowing to international outrage, the president of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, has issued a pardon for a gay couple who was sentenced to 14 years in jail. Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, had been convicted of committing gross indecency and unnatural acts in a country where homosexuality is equated with Satanism. "These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws," President Mutharika said after meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. "However, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions."