Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga
A group representing lawyers and the legal profession in Malawi has called for the immediate granting of bail to the two gay men arrested for getting engaged in December.
The Malawi Law Society (MLS), a constitutionally-recognised body, said in a statement that there were no reasons to keep the men in jail during their trial.
“We feel that the reasons for being denied bail were not meritable,” said MLS Secretary Jabber Alide.
Steven Monjeza (26) 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 remain in Chichiri Prison in Blantyre, amid squalid conditions, as they await the outcome of their trial.
They have twice been refused bail, apparently out of concern for their safety, despite their claims that they have been beaten and abused in prison.
The much-anticipated verdict in the case is expected on May 18.