Denmark to withhold aid money to Tanzania following treatment of the LGBT community

Development minister Ulla Tornaes took to Twitter to reveal they will not be aiding the African country


Words: Steve Brown

Denmark is withholding 65m krone in aid to Tanzania after the homophobic treatment of the LGBT community.

Development minister Ulla Tornaes took to Twitter to reveal that the money – which is equivalent to £7.5m – will not be given to Tanzania after it was revealed the country is cracking down on the LGBT community.

Ms Tornaes said: “I am very concerned about the negative development in Tanzania. Most recently the totally unacceptable homophobic statements from a commissioner.

“I have therefore decided to withhold DKK 65m in the country. Respect for human rights is crucial for Denmark.”

Denmark is reportedly Tanzania’s second biggest aid donor and the minister also postponed a trip to the east African country.

Although Ms Tornaes did not explicitly name the commissioner, last month Paul Makonda, Regional Commissioner of Tanzania's largest city Dar es Salaam, announced that he was creating special squads to catch LGBT people, and encouraged citizens to report people suspected of being gay.

On October 31, Makonda tweeted that "more than 100 gay" people had been reported by their fellow citizens and that authorities would "take action".

Amnesty International then reported ten men were arrested in the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar after police received a tip-off that a same-sex marriage was taking place.

Police reportedly raided a party over the weekend and arrested the ten men but six others at the event managed to escape.

The arrested men were held at Chakwal police station despite no charges having been brought against them.

The men were then subjected to physical, anal examinations

Homosexual acts are illegal in the Africa country and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.