A male couple serving a 15-year prison term for gay sex has been pardoned by the president of Zambia.

According to Reuters, President Edgar Lungu on May 22, African Freedom Day, pardoned up to 3,000 people, including the couple. African Freedom Day marks the anniversary of the creation of the Organization of African Unity.

The couple was sentenced last fall after they were convicted of “crimes against the order of nature.” According to local media reports, the men were caught having sex in a lodge in the town of Kapiri Mposhi.

Zambia is among the more than 70 nations where consensual gay sex is criminalized.

U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote was recalled from his post after he spoke out against the couple's harsh sentence. Foote received death threats for his criticism.

(Related: U.S. recalls ambassador to Zambia after he spoke out in support of gay couple.)