Chirwa, Vera (1933—)

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Chirwa, Vera (1933—)

Malawi lawyer and politician. Born in 1933; married Orton Chirwa (a lawyer and politician).

Vera Chirwa and her husband Orton, both lawyers, played prominent roles in Malawi's bid for independence from Britain in 1964, but political unrest forced them into exile shortly thereafter. In 1981, while staying in Zambia, the Chirwas were abducted by Malawi security officials, charged with treason, and sentenced to death. Malawi's courts, buckling under international outrage, commuted their sentence to life in prison. For 11 years, the Chirwas were separated and held incommunicado. Orton died in 1992. In 1993, as a result of efforts by Amnesty International, Senator Paul Simon, and then senator Al Gore, Vera Chirwa was released.

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Chirwa, Vera (1933—)

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