The regional governor of Tanzania's largest city, Dar es Salaam, has asked the public to help identify people suspected of being gay as part of a crackdown against the LGBT community.

“I have received reports that there are so many homosexual in our city, and these homosexuals are advertising and selling their services on the Internet,” Paul Makonda told reporters during a news conference.

“Therefore, I am announcing this to every citizen of Dar es Salaam. If you know any gays … report them to me,” he said.

Makonda said that mass arrests of LGBT people will begin on Monday and that a 17-member committee will be established to identify people who are gay on social media and arrest them.

According to The Guardian, Makonda said that in one day he received nearly 6,000 messages from the public with the names of more than 100 gay people.

Geofrey Mashala, a Tanzanian LGBT activist now living in California, said that mobs of people routinely attack men suspected of being gay.

“People have become very powerful to attack people,” Mashala said. “If you are on the bus or walk on the street and maybe two or three guys start to shout: 'Hey, he's gay, he's a gay.' Suddenly, 10 people can join these two people, or 20 people, and start attacking you on the street.”

“You cannot do anything. You cannot go to the police. You cannot ask people to help you,” he added.

Another prominent LGBT activist said that police encourage violence against the LGBT community.

“They take you to custody and tell other men: 'This one is gay, you can do anal sex with them because he enjoys it in the streets,'” the unnamed activist said.

Gay sex is illegal in Tanzania, where violators face up to 30 years in jail.

(Related: Tanzania's president says cows disapprove of homosexuality.)