Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga

It’s been reported that one of the men on trial for getting engaged to another man in Malawi is gravely ill.

British gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell of OutRage, told Modern Ghana that 26 year old Steven Manjeza’s life is in danger at Chichili Prison.

“He has been held on remand in an overcrowded, squalid call for over three months, without proper food, sanitation or medical care,” said Tatchell.

“He looks very ill and has lost weight,” added Tatchell, who claimed that prison authorities were refusing to give Manjeza proper treatment: “His health is likely to deteriorate further unless he gets swift medical care.”

Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga (20) are facing 14 years in prison on charges of homosexuality after they celebrated their relationship in a public ceremony last December.

They have been twice refused bail, apparently out of concerns for their safety. This despite claims that they have been beaten by prison officials and were forced to undergo illegal medical examinations.

In January, Chimbalanga vomited and collapsed in court. Amid jeers from the public gallery he was made to fetch a mop and pail and to clean the vomit before being taken to hospital.

Despite widespread international condemnation of the men’s arrest, the South African government has not commented on the matter.

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