Human Rights Watch

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Malawi: Arrests, Violence against LGBT People

Repeal Laws; Moratorium Not Enough

Friday 26 October 2018

(Banjul, October 26, 2018) – Malawi’s laws prohibiting consensual same-sex relations foster a climate of fear and fuel violence and discrimination, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The punitive legal environment combined with social stigma allows police abuse to go unchecked and prevents many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from reporting violence or getting medical care.

The 61-page report, “‘Let Posterity Judge’: Violence and Discrimination against LGBT People in Malawi,” shows how the lack of clarity about the legal status of same-sex conduct leaves LGBT people vulnerable to arbitrary arrests, physical violence, and routine discrimination. The justice minister issued a moratorium on arrests for adult consensual same-sex conduct in 2012, but there are divergent views about its legality.

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