[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 67 (Thursday, May 6, 2010)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E782]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     BIPARTISAN RESOLUTION CONDEMNING MALAWI'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. MARK STEVEN KIRK

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 6, 2010

  Mr. KIRK. Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce a bipartisan resolution 
calling on the Government of Malawi to immediately release two 
prisoners of conscience--Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza--and to 
address the pervasive violation of human rights in the country and the 
criminalization of consensual sexual conduct by adults.
  Messrs. Chimbalanga and Monjeza were arrested at their home on 
December 27, 2009, after holding a traditional engagement ceremony. 
These two men now stand accused of ``committing acts of gross 
indecency,'' punishable by up to 14 years in prison under Malawi's law. 
They have been repeatedly denied bail and subjected to psychiatric 
evaluation without their consent. While in prison, Mr. Monjeza's health 
has gravely deteriorated.
  In prosecuting two innocent individuals solely on the basis of 
consensual sexual conduct, the Malawian authorities have severely 
violated the fundamental human rights of Mr. Chimbalanga and Mr. 
Monjeza under international law.
  Amnesty International has declared these men ``prisoners of 
conscience'', and Human Rights Watch and other organizations have 
called for their immediate release.
  The final ruling that will decide the fate of these men is expected 
on May 18, 2010.
  Today, with my colleague from Wisconsin, Representative Tammy 
Baldwin, I call on the Government of Malawi to immediately release 
these two individuals and for Secretary Clinton to closely monitor 
human rights abuses in Malawi.

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