Statement by Minister of State for Overseas Development

Statement by Minister Peter Power on Malawi court case

Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, TD today made the following statement in relation to the sentencing of Mr Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Mr Steven Monjeza in Malawi:

“I have been following this case very closely through our Embassy in Malawi, and, along with our EU partners, have regularly emphasised to the authorities our serious concern about this case. 

“Now that the two men have been sentenced, we are working with our partners for a strong EU response.  On Ireland’s part, as friends and partners of Malawi, which is one of the priority countries for our bilateral assistance, I want to emphasise our very serious concern and disappointment at the severe sentence imposed on the two men on the basis of their sexual orientation. 

“The sentence is entirely disproportionate and against international human rights principles.  With our EU partners, we are calling on the Government of Malawi to fulfil its commitments to the protection of the human rights of all individuals, irrespective of their sexual orientation”.

 ENDS

20 May 2010

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