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Britain will review its aid to Malawi if the Government refuses to free two gay men who were sentenced to 14 years’ hard labour this week. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, came under pressure yesterday to begin withdrawing £19 million of British “budget support” for the Commonwealth country’s Government.... The Department for International Development (DfID) is understood to be considering reducing the proportion of aid paid directly to Malawi while maintaining the overall amount of £80 million donated to the country each year. Up to to 40 percent of Malawi’s budget comes from foreign donors.

Western governments—governments with openly gay elected officials, governments whose foreign aid budgets include revenues collected from openly gay taxpayers—have the leverage to free Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza.