BLANTYRE, Malawi – Malawi's president on Saturday pardoned a gay couple who had been sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered their release but insisted that homosexuality was still illegal in his conservative southern African nation.
President Bingu wa Mutharika announced the pardon on "humanitarian grounds only" during a press conference with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Lilongwe, the capital.
"These boys committed a crime against our culture, against our religion, and against our laws," Mutharika said. "However, as head of state, I hereby pardon them and therefore order their immediate release without any conditions."
But he added, "We don't condone marriages of this nature. It's unheard of in Malawi and it's illegal."
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