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BLANTYRE, Malawi - Malawi's president on Saturday pardoned and ordered the release of a gay couple sentenced to 14 years in prison, but warned that homosexuality remains illegal in the conservative southern African nation.
President Bingu wa Mutharika said he would release Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza on "humanitarian grounds only." He made the announcement 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."