Malawi Human Rights
General Country Condition
Malawi is a country in Africa that continues in their democratic and economic development without much notice. Malawi's economy is experiencing a significant boost as a result of the increasing success of its agricultural sector and foreign direct investment from countries such as China and India. Malawi still experiences many of the roadblocks of human rights realization and therefore the realization of a truly free democratic state.
In addition to serious concerns of violence against women and children and police brutality (found in the Amnesty International Annual Report 2010), rights for homosexuals in Malawi has taken center stage.
In December 2009, two men were arrested and charged with "unnatural practices between men and gross public indecency." The men were convicted and sentenced to 14 years hard labor. Following much public outcry, the president of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned these two men. Homosexuality is still functionally illegal and individuals are still at risk. The laws under which these men were convicted still stand. In early December, the Malawi parliament passed legislation that would criminalize sex between women in addition to the current laws that stand criminalizing sex between men. This year, Malawi underwent Universal Periodic Review, a mechanism of the U.N. to evaluate human rights progress in its member states. The rights of homosexuals in Malawi was raised.
General elections will not occur until 2014. According to the 2010 Amnesty International Annual Report, opposition to President Bingu wa Mutharika was arrested and jailed during 2009 election. Since that time, most have been released on bail or charges dropped. Additionally, allegations of media bias and police intimidation arose during the 2009 presidential elections.