5 November 2018

Tanzania Tightens Crackdown On Gay People

Dar — ES-SALAAM, (CAJ News) - TANZANIA'S authoritarian regime has come under international criticism for its plans to track and arrest people involved in same-sex relationships.

The plans come on the back of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Tanzania already been subjected to growing violence, harassment and discrimination over recent years.

People convicted of same-sex liaisons can be jailed for up to 30 years

Government has established a committee to encourage people to report those they suspect of being gay, or lesbian.

"This could turn into a witch-hunt and could be interpreted as a licence to carry out violence, intimidation, bullying, harassment and discrimination against those perceived to be LGBT," United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said.

The plan announced by the government also includes attempts to so-called "cure" gay people - a practice condemned as harmful, unethical and without scientific basis by the Committee against Torture and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Bachelet urged the government to fulfill its duty to protect the human rights of all the people within its territory.

"I call on the government and all the people of Tanzania to stand up for the human rights of everyone in the country, regardless of who they are or whom they love," Bachelet said.

Tanzania has become increasingly despotic since John Magufuli became president in 2015.

He has threatened to arrest and deport campaigners for gay and lesbian rights.

Magufuli's government supports the use of 'anal exams' to prove whether someone is having gay sex.

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