JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Malawian government has reaffirmed its decision to halt the arrest and prosecution of gay citizens while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws.

Rights groups Human Rights Watch and the Centre for the Development of the People praised the Malawian government for upholding its 2012 commitment, after prosecutors dropped charges against a same-sex couple.

The rights groups said two men were detained by a neighborhood watch team, who turned them over to police. The men were forced to undergo medical tests and charged with sodomy. This was the first arrest since 2009, when a gay couple was jailed and pardoned a year later.

In a statement published by a Malawian newspaper, the country's Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu said no arrests or prosecutions must occur while the country reviews its laws.