Tanzania threatens to arrest all gay rights activists

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The Tanzanian government has threatened to arrest and deport foreigners who argue in favour of LGBTI rights and close down any organisations that are supportive of the LGBTI community.

A warning was issued by the country’s Interior Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba, via the country’s state owned media outlet.

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“I would like to remind and warn all organisations and institutions that campaign and pretend to protect homosexual interests … we are going to arrest whoever is involved and charge them in courts of law,” Nchemba said.

The minister said any foreign aid workers showing support would be deported immediately; “deported within no time … they will not have even the time to unplug their mobile phones from the socket.”

The minister’s comments follow a recent speech by the country’s President John Magufuli (pictured above) who has declared he’d rather sacrifice foreign aid than allow services to be provided to gay people.

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“Those who teach such things do not like us, brothers. They brought us drugs and homosexual practices that even cows disapprove of,” Magufuli reportedly said in a speech last Thursday.

Homosexuality in Tanzania can be punished with up to 30 years imprisonment.

The president has also reaffirmed the government’s policy that stops girls who fall from pregnant from finishing their education. President Magufili has argued that allowing girls who have fallen pregnant to return to school will lead other students “being corrupted”.

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