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21 February 2017

Tanzania threat to list gay people

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The threat to publish the names of suspected homosexuals in Tanzania has been defended by the deputy health minister in a fierce row on Twitter.

Homosexual acts are illegal in the East African nation and punishable by up to 30 years in jail.

Those who advertised homosexual activities online would also be targeted, the politician warned.

Tweeters accused him of homophobia and infringing on the right to freedom of expression online.

But Hamisi Kigwangalla argued that homosexuality did not scientifically exist and was a social construct.

In a tweet written in Swahili and English he said: “Have you ever come across a gay goat or bird? Homosexuality is not biological, it is unnatural.”

The 42-year-old, who is a medical doctor by profession, argued that homosexuality could only be associated with an urban lifestyle.

He said that in the small town in central Tanzania where he came from, there were no homosexuals.

 

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