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EU reviewing financial support to Tanzania following treatment of the LGBT community

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

2018-11-16

Words: Steve Brown

The European Union has said it was reviewing its financial support to Tanzania following the country’s treatment of the LGBT community.

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.

This week, Denmark’s development minister Ulla Tornaes announced that they will be withholding funding to the country.

And now the EU – which is Tanzania’s biggest development partner - has said it was reviewing its support to the African country.

Each year, the EU provides more than €100m annually to the country.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “The EU and its member states are concerned about recent political developments in Tanzania.”

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