The Tanzanian government has threatened to publish a list of its gay citizens online. This was disclosed by the Deputy health minister, Hamisi Kigwangalla.
According to him on his official Twitter page, he wrote that the government was investigating the ‘homosaxuality syndicate’ and would arrest and prosecute those involved in the gay sax business.
”I will publish a list of gay people selling their bodies online, those who think this campaign is a joke, are wrong. The government has long arms and it will quietly arrest all those involved. Once arrested, they will help us find others.” Kigwangalla wrote.
Homosaxuality in Tanzania attracts jail term ranging from 30-years to life imprisonment.
According to Section 154 of the Tanzania Penal code of 1945: “Any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment.”
According to a 2013 report by Human Rights Watch and the Wake Up and Step Forward Coalition: “Men who have sax with men, transgender people, sax workers have become increasingly distrustful of the state.
“Their fears undermine public health initiatives that depend on cooperation and partnership between the government and key populations that are most at risk of HIV infection,”
“Tanzanians who are most at risk of HIV face widespread police abuse and often can’t get help when they are victims of crime.”
“The Tanzanian government has committed on paper to reduce the stigma for at-risk groups but that commitment is meaningless if the police regularly rape, assault, and arrest them,” said Neela Ghoshal, lesbian, gay, bisaxual, and transgender rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. LGBTI people and sax workers say that they cannot form legally recognised membership groups and register with the government.
“In 2011, police arrested and beat one gay man in Dar es Salaam simply because he tried to organize a workshop for other men who have sax with men,” Human Rights Watch continued.
OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES
Nigeria: Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan approved a bill that criminalises gay marriage and allows homosaxuals persecution.Dozen of gay Nigerians have been arrested since an anti-gay bill was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan, according to Amnesty International.
The Same Sax Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 imposes prison sentences of up to 14 years on those found guilty of involvement in gay organisations. Gays who publicly demonstrate their saxuality can be jailed for 10 years.
The law disregards human rights, said Amnesty, which warned that it mirrored the laws enforced by the military dictators who ruled Nigeria until 1999.
“Those arrested under this draconian new legislation must be released immediately and the charges against them dropped. Locking someone up for their saxual orientation violates the most basic human rights standards,” said Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher.
“Reports that the police in one state are apparently drawing up lists of members of the lesbian, gay, bisaxual, transgender and intersax [LGBTI] community to target are extremely worrying,” Kamara continued.
“The deeply repressive Same Sax Marriage (Prohibition) Act must be withdrawn without delay. With the stroke of a pen, President Jonathan has essentially turned Nigeria into one of the world’s least tolerant societies,” Amnesty warned.
The bill could bar people suffering from HIV from obtaining medical cures, Unaids (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria said. Nigerian human rights defenders said they feared further persecution of gay people under the law.
Uganda: Uganda’s Anti-Homosaxuality Bill which institutionalizes discrimination against gay, lesbians, bisaxual, transgender and intersax people. A provision in the earlier draft of the bill imposing the death penalty for “aggravated” homosaxuality was replaced with a life sentence.
Among those who could be charged with “aggravated homosaxuality” are so-called “serial offenders” and anyone who is HIV-positive and found to have had saxual relations with a person of the same sax – even when such conduct is consensual and protected, Amnesty said.
Under existing Ugandan law, anyone found guilty of “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” can already face up to life imprisonment.
Cameroon: Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, 34, was sentenced to three years in jail after sending a text to a man reading: “I am very much in love with you”. Mdebe died after he was denied medical treatments to cure his hernia.
Section 347 of the Cameroonian penal code says: “Any person who has saxual relations with a person of the same sax shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of between 20,000 and 200,000 francs.”
Cameroon brings more cases against suspected gays than any other African country, according to NGO Human Rights Watch.
“Most cases are marked by grave human rights violations, including torture, forced confessions, denial of access to legal counsel, and discriminatory treatment by law enforcement and judicial officials,” said Human Rights Watch.
Senegal: Homosaxuality is illegal in Senegal. Five lesbians were charged last November under the country’s anti-gay law which carries jail terms of up to five years for homosaxual acts. One woman is a member of Women’s Smile, the only lesbian rights group that operates Senegal.
In 2012, journalist Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye was sentenced to four years in prison for having sax with another man and in January 2013 a gay couple were assaulted by their parents, according to Global Gayz. In April and May 2009, state-sanctioned anti-gay lynch mobs swept Senegal. In one case, the corpse of a gay man was dug up twice, said Global Gayz.
According to Senegalese president Macky Sall, the country was “not ready” to decriminalise homosaxual acts. Despite the law, Sall maintained that gays were not persecuted.
According to Article 319 of the Senegalese penal code: “Whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sax will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs. If the act was committed with a person below the age of 21, the maximum penalty will always be applied”.