By: Steve Dellar | 11-07-2018 | News
Photo credit: ThisIsAfrica

Tanzania - Anti-Gay “Hit Squad” Arrests 10 At Zanzibar Party

Although the government of Tanzania is keen to stress that the actions of the governor of Dar-Es Salaam, Mr Paul Makondo, are that of an individual and not its newest policy, the anti-gay hit squad in the country seems to be making arrests again.

Ten men were arrested on suspicion of being gay on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar after police received a “tip-off” from members of the public about a same-sex marriage taking place

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Breaking Ten men have been arrested in Zanzibar, <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tanzania</a> on suspicion of being gay.<br><br>Last week a prominent politician called on the public to report the names of suspected homosexuals to the police. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) <a href="">November 6, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Mr Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional for East Africa confirmed the news, stating: “this is a shocking blow following the Tanzanian government’s assurance that no one would be targeted and arrested because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Related coverage: <a href="">Tanzania - Thousands Of Homosexuals Reported As Government Starts Crackdown (Video)</a>

“This appalling attack on Tanzanian people simply exercising their human rights shows the danger of inflammatory and discriminatory rhetoric at senior levels of government.

“We now fear these men may be subjected to forced anal examination, the government’s method of choice for ‘proving’ same-sex sexual activity among men. This must not be allowed to happen – these men must be released immediately.”

Apparently, the 10 men were arrested when police raided a party at Pongwe Beach, Zanzibar. Six others fled the event when the police arrived.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tanzania’s anti-homosexuality law is among the world’s harshest - 30 years to life in prison… <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Human Rights Watch (@hrw) <a href="">November 6, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The news contradicts the foreign affairs ministry which issued a statement “to inform the public that those sentiments are individual and do not reflect the government position”.

It added: “the government will continue to respect all international agreements on human rights that have been signed and ratified.”

The move is only the latest in a series of controversial policies and public statements made by President John Magufuli, nicknamed ‘the bulldozer’ and members of his administration ever since coming to power in 2015. Just last year the Tanzanian president told a political rally that girls that fall pregnant should not be allowed to return to school. In September, he railed against contraception and said there was no need for birth control if people work hard enough to feed their children.


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