The U.S. Department of State has barred a Tanzanian official who launched an anti-gay crackdown from visiting the United States.
Paul Makonda, governor of Dar es Salaam on the coast of Tanzania, headed up the roundup of LGBTQ citizens in 2018. The U.S. state department said he was responsible for “gross violations of human rights, which include the flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.”
State Dept. bans Tanzanian official who led anti-gay crackdown
The State Department has banned a Tanzanian official who launched a crackdown on homosexuality in Dar es Salaam in 2018 from visiting the U.S.
The government announced Friday it was taking the action against Paul Makonda, administrative chief of the Tanzania capital, “due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights, which include the flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.”
“In that role, he has also been implicated in oppression of the political opposition, crackdowns on freedom of expression and association, and the targeting of marginalized individuals,” the State Department added of Makonda in a statement.
The announcement prohibits Makonda and his immediate family members from visiting the U.S.
Makonda was the public face of an effort in 2018 to establish a special committee in Dar es Salaam that worked to identify and punish gay people and prostitutes in the city. The move was part of a broader crackdown on homosexuality that began in 2015 under President John Magufuli.
The State Department did not indicate any specific action taken by Makonda as the spark for the travel ban, but said it was “concerned” with human rights abuses in Tanzania.
“These actions against Paul Christian Makonda underscore our concern with human rights violations and abuses in Tanzania, as well as our support for accountability for those who engage in such violations and abuses,” the agency said. “We call on the Tanzanian government to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression, association, and the right of peaceful assembly.”
- Canadian plea: Don’t cut aid to Tanzania (
- Commentary: Help LGBT Africans by cutting aid to anti-gay Tanzania
- Commentary: Aid cut would make gay Tanzanians into scapegoats
- Tanzania: Police find no evidence; 10 men released
- Gay crackdown fiasco in Tanzania leaves Dar es Salaam RC Makonda exposed (November 2018, The Citizen)
- Tanzania government disavows Monday’s anti-gay roundup (November 2018, 76crimes.com)
- EU says to review its relation with Tanzania over human rights, rule of law (November 2018, The Citizen)
- Tanzania plans anti-gay police state, not without opposition (November 2018, 76crimes.com)
- Tanzania governor wants to rid Dar es Salaam of every gay person (November 2018, Pink News)
- Thousands ‘living in fear’ after Tanzania calls on public to report gay people (October 2018, The Guardian)
- Protests surge as Tanzania jails anti-HIV lawyers; no charges (October 2017, 76crimes.com)
- In Tanzania, 13 people attending a meeting are arrested for allegedly promoting homosexuality; operations of a Global Fund SR are suspended (October 2017, Aidspan)
- Tanzania threatens to arrest all gay rights activists (June 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Global Fund-supported programs suspended amid Tanzanian government crackdown on LGBT community (March 2017, Aidspan)
- Tanzania ramps up anti-gay panic, risks HIV expansion (February 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Homophobia Explodes In Tanzania, Health Minister Threatens ‘Gay List’ (February 2017, The Advocate)
- Seeking to limit gay sex, Tanzania bans lubricants (July 2016, 76crimes.com)