Tanzania threatens to publish 'list of gay people'

In Tanzania homosexual acts are illegal and could lead to 30 years in jail. Credit: AP

The government in Tanzania is threatening to publish a 'list of gay people' as it continues a crackdown on homosexual activity.

Homosexual acts are illegal in the East African nation and offenders could face up to 30 years in jail.

Tanzania's deputy health minister Hamisi Kigwangalla said the measure will specifically target people who advertise homosexual activities online.

However, after he announced the plan on Twitter Mr Kigwangalla faced a fierce backlash of criticism from people accusing him and Tanzania of homophobia, but he responded by insisting that the country's laws must be respected.

Last week the government said it had stopped 40 privately run health centres from providing AIDs-related services, accusing them of promoting gay sex.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu defended the move by claiming that HIV and AIDs services would be expanded at 3,000 other health centres across the country.

Homosexuality is illegal in just over two thirds of African countries and according to Amnesty International the "legal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people across the African continent are diminishing".

In Mauritania, Sudan, Northern Nigeria, and Southern Somalia anyone found guilty of being gay can face the death penalty.