STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

EU recalls Tanzania ambassador amid LGBT crackdown

The European Union has recalled the head of its delegation to Tanzania because of what it calls a "deteriora...

Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:55 PM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 12:55 PM

The European Union has recalled the head of its delegation to Tanzania because of what it calls a "deterioration of the human rights and rule of law" in the east African nation.

The EU -- a major donor to Tanzania that has pledged more than $700 million in support between 2014 and 2020 -- said in a statement that it would be conducting a broader review of its relations with the country.

Africa

Continents and regions

Demographic groups

Eastern Africa

European Union

Gays and lesbians

Government organizations - Intl

LGBT rights

Population and demographics

Sex and gender issues

Society

Tanzania

The move to withdraw its ambassador, Roeland van de Geer, comes after severe international criticism over a crackdown on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Tanzanians.

According to activists speaking to CNN, the crackdown has forced many gay citizens into hiding or to flee the country.

In related news, 10 men have been arrested on suspicion of being gay on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, according to Amnesty International. The men were arrested over the weekend in a raid at Pongwe Beach on the island.

A human rights defender in Zanzibar, who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety, told CNN: "They were just at the beach enjoying themselves and the police ambushed them.

"This was not a gay wedding as the police say. They always use that as an excuse," he added.

"The situation here is even worse than on the mainland and it has gotten bad since the new president [John Magufuli] came in.

"Members of the LGBT community and also sex workers are being humiliated, beaten and harassed by both ordinary people and the police."

The arrests come after the regional governor of Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, called on the public to report names of suspected gay men to the police.

Amnesty's deputy director for East Africa, Seif Magango, said: "This is a shocking blow following the Tanzanian government's assurance that no one would be targeted and arrested because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity."

CNN's efforts to reach Zanzibar authorities have so far been unsuccessful.

Colonial-era laws

LGBT people face a 30-year jail sentence in Tanzanian for gay male sex, a holdover from colonial-era laws, mirroring severe penalties for same-sex relationships across many African countries.

Alhough the government denounced Makonda's comments, the prospect of a task force scouring the streets and social media accounts for "evidence" of LGBT Tanzanians has terrified many in the community already dealing with a homophobic community and government.

Human Rights Watch also says the government has shut down LGBT-friendly clinics, prohibited community organizations from doing HIV outreach targeting key populations and arrested activists holding workshops about legal advice.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1694651

Reported Deaths: 48335
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2184108926
Kings2182459258
Suffolk1664973125
Nassau1526462956
Bronx1490725955
Westchester1103302125
New York1075853980
Erie668181618
Richmond589101605
Monroe53391998
Rockland39673896
Orange38194730
Onondaga32798636
Dutchess23006413
Albany21239335
Oneida19928481
Niagara15554316
Broome15461339
Saratoga12245149
Schenectady11039178
Ulster10331232
Rensselaer9233132
Putnam856586
Chautauqua7443126
Chemung6481130
Oswego611989
Ontario591490
St. Lawrence570191
Steuben5584139
Cayuga543889
Jefferson491063
Sullivan489160
Herkimer4609107
Wayne454065
Cattaraugus449977
Genesee4483119
Madison389685
Clinton378827
Livingston361156
Tompkins352343
Columbia345696
Fulton344085
Montgomery3259107
Cortland324160
Allegany293081
Warren291355
Wyoming288549
Tioga286456
Greene270971
Chenango250270
Otsego248643
Orleans247782
Washington240654
Franklin217612
Lewis210330
Seneca165554
Delaware159033
Essex136426
Schoharie125113
Yates102426
Schuyler87312
Hamilton2862
Unassigned16199
Out of NY0194
Rome
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: 28°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: 28°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: 28°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: -6°
Feels Like: 28°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Foodie Fridays Rosa's 50% 0ff - Now thru March 18
Submit your Mutt Madness Picture through March 10th
March into Beautiful Skin Giveaway
Under 100 2021 Golf Cards left!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve