Andrew Mitchell

The British government has started cutting economic aid to countries that persecute gays and lesbians, reports the British media.

According to the Daily Mail, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has already slashed aid to Malawi by £19 million.

This after the African country’s courts jailed two men, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, for 14 years on charges of homosexuality.

After the men were released due to international pressure, Malawi’s government continued with its anti-gay policies and criminalised lesbianism.

“The government is committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad. We take action where we have concerns,” a spokesman for Mitchell told the newspaper.

‘We now allocate funds every three months, rather than every year, so that we can review a country’s performance, for example on human rights, and take swift action when governments fall short. We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.”

Mitchell has also reportedly threatened to cut aid to Uganda, which is set to receive £70 million this year from Britain, and Ghana (£36 million), if those countries continue to oppress their LGBTI citizens.

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