Tanzania Targets Gays, Lesbian Community

File Photo.

Dodoma: – HUMAN rights’ activists have called on Tanzanian authorities to halt a crackdown targeting the Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTI) community that have seen a number getting arrested.

Regional Commissioner for Dar es Salaam Paul Makonda on October 29 announced plans to form a 17-person taskforce to identify and arrest LGBTI people in the country.

Makonda asked members of the public to report anyone they suspect to be LGBTIQ, and he claims to have already received over 200 names.

Despite Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs ministry dismissing the crackdown as not reflecting the position of government, the crackdown has continued.

“The failure of the Government of Tanzania to take action against Paul Makonda creates a culture of impunity for violence against LGBTIQ people,” human rights defender said In a Sign-On petition in solidarity with the LGBTI people in Tanzania.

The human rights defenders called on the Tanzanian government to:

1. Immediately halt the actions of Paul Makonda and disband the task force, and ensure any information or data collected on suspected LGBTIQ persons is confidentially destroyed.

2. Immediately release all individuals who have been arrested as a result of the crackdown and ensure their rights are respected, including due process and access to legal representation.

3. Condemn the threat to publish names of suspected LGBTIQ people, all forms of hate speech, and all other efforts to incite violence.

4. Disavow the use of pseudo-scientific “anal examinations” as evidence for same-sex behaviour, and not subject any person to this or similar humiliating treatment.