A gay Malawian couple has been freed from prison, apparently thanks in part to Madonna. Steven Monjenza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga had been sentenced to 14 years hard labour for gross indencency and unnatural acts, but were released Saturday, on "humanitarian" grounds, reports E! Online.
Upon hearing of the couple's imprisonment, Madonna said she was "shocked and saddened" by the government's decision, and called upon people all over the world to speak out against the ruling. Government officials from all over the world also called for the release of the couple.
Madonna said in a statement: "I have always believed love conquers all—yesterday I got to see it in action. In the last week over 30,000 of you added your name to mine calling for the release of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalangal—the Malawi couple sentenced to 14 years hard labor for the "crime" of homosexuality. With incredible joy, I am writing to share with you that Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has ordered their release."