Gay couple among over 2,900 prisoners pardoned by Zambia

Lusaka – Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu on Monday pardoned a gay couple who was sentenced to 15 years in prison over “unnatural acts”. The amnesty was granted for Freedom Day celebration in Africa.

Japhet Chataba, 39 and Steven Samba, 31 at the end of 2019 caused tensions with the United States.

The U.S. Ambassador to Lusaka, Daniel Foote, said he was horrified by the court’s decision, arousing harsh response in conservative Zambia. The ambassador was recalled by the U.S. after Lungu said the ambassador was no longer welcomed in the country.

Chataba and Samba are among 2.984 prisoners pardoned by Lungu.

The country does not explicitly prohibit homosexual relations, but its Constitution frowns on “any carnal relations against natural order”.

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