The decision by Malawi to drop the case against Ken Msonda, the lawmaker who made controversial comments, describing gay and lesbian people as “worse than dogs” and urging citizens to kill homosexuals has raised concern.
In response to the discontinuance of the trial, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said it is concerned that the decision could stoke anti-gay sentiment, including incitement to murder, VOA news reported.
Earlier this month, Ken Msonda, Msonda reportedly wrote, “My personal opinion is that sin shouldn’t be legalised”.
“Gays do not deserve human rights, they deserve to be killed,” Msonda added.
Following the remarks, Msonda was sued by the Centre of Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) but he has remained defiant, accusing the rights organisations of misleading citizens on the issue.
U.N. Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville responded to the discontinuance saying, “We are concerned that the failure to prosecute this case sends a dangerous message that inciting others to kill gay people is legitimate and will be tolerated by the authorities—in effect encouraging violent threats and attacks on the gay and lesbian community in Malawi”.
Although Malawi has laws criminalising homosexuality, last year, the government announced it had imposed a ban on anti-homosexual laws pending a decision on whether to repeal the legislation.
President Peter Mutharika has previously said the people will decide on whether homosexuality should be legalised. In a statement attributed to President Mutharika, his press secretary, Gerald Viola said Mutharika “wants gay rights protected,” a statement met with mixed emotions, in a deeply conservative country.
Source: VOA news