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DENMARK To Hold Back $9.8m in Aid to Tanzania Over GLBT Persecution

Development minister Ulla Tornaes of Denmark has released a statement that the county will withhold over 9.8 million dollars in foreign aid to the county of Tanzania after “unacceptable homophobic comments” from a senior politician were made and also because of news of LGBT persecution happening in that country.

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

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

Last month, Paul Makonda, (pictured above) commissioner for the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, called on the public to report suspected gay men to the police.

He said he would set up a surveillance squad to track down gay people.

Back-peddling the government of Tanzania said at the time that Mr Makonda was expressing his personal opinion, not government policy.

It said the government would “continue to respect and uphold all human rights as provided for in the country’s constitution”.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Denmark is Tanzania’s second biggest aid donor.

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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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