Persecution of the LGBT+ community in Tanzania must be condemned by Ireland

03 November 2018

Leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD, has condemned the call from Tanzanian regional governor, Paul Makonda, for ‘suspected homosexuals’ to be reported to his office in order for them to be arrested.

Speaking today, Deputy Howlin said:

“Labour condemns any attempt to target or discriminate against a group on the basis of their sexuality or identity. For the Governor of a major city in Tanzania to do so is repugnant and deeply saddening.

“There are hundreds of men and women across Tanzania today who are fearing the worst and trying desperately to hide themselves within their own city and communities. Labour led on the introduction of anti-discrimination law in Ireland, as well as on promoting marriage equality. We want to see the same rights and protection afforded to people in every country.

“Ireland has a particular role to play in calling out this homophobic behaviour. Since our recent, and globally unique, referendum endorsing marriage equality, and by such a large margin, we have shown that Ireland is a model of openess, tolerance. We must use this privileged platform to champion the needs of LGBT+ people all over the world.
“Ireland gives €26 million per year in development aid to Tanzania. We must have a discussion within the Department of Foreign Affairs about how we can use our partnership with Tanzania to condemn this governor’s actions and to ensure that Ireland advocates for the rights of LGBT+ citizens in Tanzania.”

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