Saturday, 22 May 2010

Action on Malawi

If there is an upside to the terrible case of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga - sentenced to 14 years hard labour this week in Malawi for being openly homosexual - it is perhaps that we are talking about the state of gay rights in Africa. But goodness me, Steven and Tiwonge are paying too high a price for our consciousness raising. The Guardian carries a long and wonderful piece today talking to gay rights activists across Africa. I'm pleased to see African gay rights activists being given a voice. If Africa is to change, it must be within. Our job in the West must surely be to nudge their leaders along and offer what support we can to their own activists and their own campaigns.

Peter Tatchell - who has campaigned tirelessly on this, like so many issues, has offered some clear and practical advice on what you and I can do to help. I've reproduced it below.

Three things you can do to support our heroes

Big thanks to everyone who has shown their concern and anger at the outrageous 14-year jail term handed down to Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Malawi.

See background to their prosecution and sentence here:

Here are three ways you can help:


Send a letter or postcard of support to Steven and Tiwonge. In this difficult time, they need to know that people around the world love and support them. Get all your friends to do the same. Write to:

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, Prisoners, Chichiri Prison,
P.O.Box 30117, Chichiri, Blantyre 3, Malawi


Write a letter to your elected political representative. Urge him or her to write a letter of protest to Malawian President and to the Malawian Ambassador in your country.

If you live in the UK:
Email your MP and all your MEPs via this website:

Ask your MP and MEPs to protest to the Malawian President and to the Malawi High Commission in London.

Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 564, which protests against the prosecution of Tiwonge and Steven. See here:


Make a donation by post or BACS electronic transfer to the Malawi Defence Campaign, organised the UK-based LGBT organisation OutRage!

OutRage! will use all money donated to support Tiwonge and Steven with food parcels, medicine, clothes, blankets etc. and to help fund the campaign for their release.

By BACS electronic transfer:
Account name: OutRage!
Bank: Alliance and Leicester Commercial Bank, Bootle, Merseyside, GIR
0AA, England, UK
Account number: 77809302
Sort code: 72-00-01
For electronic transfers from overseas (outside the UK), please
ADDITIONALLY quote these codes:
IBAN: GB65ALE1720001778093 02

By cheque:
Write a cheque payable to “OutRage!” and send to OutRage!, PO Box 17816, London SW14 8WT. Enclose a note giving your name and address and stating that your donation is for the Malawi Defence campaign.

Thanks for your concern and commitment to justice for Tiwonge and Steven.

Solidarity! Peter Tatchell, OutRage!

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