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Tanzania Deports Three Lawyers After Arresting Them For ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

 

Three South African lawyers were arrested and then deported by the country of Tanzania after they were accused of promoting homosexuality.

The arrests come after a speech in late September by Deputy Health Minister Hamisi Kingwangalla, who vowed in front of parliament to “fight with all our strength against groups supporting homosexuality in our country,” AFP news agency reports.

The three lawyers were among 13 people arrested on October 17  for taking part in a meeting to discuss challenging a law stopping private health clinics from providing HIV and Aids services.

Lazaro Mambosasa, chief of Dar es Salaam police, told reporters after the lawyers initial arrests that “they were promoting homosexuality”.

Sibongile Ndashe one of the lawyers involved says they had no right to  arrest them, and has accused authorities in Dar es Salaam of holding her and her colleagues “hostage”.  Their demands to see the grounds on which they were deported were ignored.

Ndashe, was deported along with two colleagues from South Africa’s Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) on Friday, told a press conference there was no crime they could be charged with, as the meeting was not about homosexuality.

The group now intends to sue.

Tanzania borders Kenya and Uganda  and has a population of 55.5 million people

In Tanzania, sex acts between men are illegal and carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Sex acts between women are not mentioned specifically in mainland Tanzanian law. The semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar outlaws same-sex sexual acts between women with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or a 500,000 shilling fine. 

Source: BBC News

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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1 thought on “Tanzania Deports Three Lawyers After Arresting Them For ‘Promoting Homosexuality’”

  1. It is unfortunate that these countries in Africa will not even admit they have an AIDs problem. They believe the disease is only among “GAY” people. When WHO and other AIDs organizations have proven and documented that it is not. They refuse to even see their people dieing from it. They believe every person that has it “must” be gay. So they do not seek treatment or testing. How can anyone believe to think these people possess any form of modern intelligence. Modern education? It is a sad thing that they cannot admit they have a health crisis. So their people die. I have nothing but pity. We live in an age of enlightenment. We have information at our fingertips. To the leaders of Tanzania I say “wake up”.

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