USA condemns Tanzania govt for crackdown on LGBT

Washington: The United States of America (USA) strongly condemned the crackdown on the LGBT community by Tanzania’s government on Friday (local time).

A press statement issued by the US Department of State read, “The United States government is deeply concerned over escalating attacks and legislative actions by the Government of Tanzania that violate civil liberties and human rights, creating an atmosphere of violence, intimidation, and discrimination.”

“We are troubled by the continued arrests and harassment of marginalized persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and others who seek to exercise their rights to freedom of speech, association, and assembly. The legislation is being used to restrict civil liberties for all,” the release noted.

The US further stated that the current state of affairs in Tanzania inhibits development in the country. “The deteriorating state of human rights and rule of law in Tanzania inhibits development, economic prosperity, peace, and security,” the statement added.

“We call on Tanzanian authorities to act decisively to safeguard the rights of civil society organizations, human rights defenders, journalists, health workers, political activists, and all people in accordance with the Tanzanian constitution, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and the country’s international and regional obligations and commitments,” the US Department of State concluded.

The Governor of Dar es Salaam had previously vowed to arrest all Tanzanian citizens belonging to the LGBT community in the nation, adding to the increasing crackdown on LGBT individuals in the country.

People from the LGBT community face a 30-year jail sentence according to Tanzanian laws, while homosexual acts attract the death penalty in other African nations like Sudan, Somalia, and Mauritania.

Tanzania’s health ministry had also discontinued HIV/AIDS services in about 40 clinics last year, citing that the establishments had promoted homosexuality.