A judge in Malawi has sentenced a gay couple to 14 years in prison with hard labour after they were convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts.
The judge said he wanted to "protect" the public.
Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, have been in jail since their arrest in December 2009 after holding an engagement ceremony.
Their arrest sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country.
'Prisoners of conscience'
"I will give you a scaring sentence so that the public be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example," said Judge Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa in the commercial capital, Blantyre.
Defence lawyer Mauya Msuku had argued for a lighter sentence, pointing out that the pair's actions had not victimised anyone.
"Unlike in a rape case, there was no complainant or victim in this case," he said after the pair were convicted on Tuesday.
"Here are two consenting adults doing their thing in private. Nobody will be threatened or offended if they are released into society."
Michelle Kagari, deputy Africa director of Amnesty International, called the sentence "an outrage", reports the AP news agency.
She described the pair as "prisoners of conscience" and said Amnesty would continue to campaign for them to be freed.
Malawi is a conservative society where same-sex liaisons are frowned upon.
The judge said same-sex relations were "un-Malawian".
But UK gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell pointed out that the laws under which the pair were convicted were introduced during British colonial rule.
"These laws are a foreign imposition. They are not African," he said,
The men had denied the charges and their lawyers said their constitutional rights had been violated.
But the Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) have been urging authorities to relax the country's stance on homosexuals.
The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre says the government has come under pressure from Western donors over the issue.
For a poor country, 40% of whose development budget depends on donors, such concerns must be taken seriously, he adds.
This is just so hard for me to comprehend.