Ten men on the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania, have been arrested on the suspicion of being gay, Amnesty International has reported.
This follows earlier calls from Dar Es Salaam’s Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda that the public should inform on people they suspected of being gay, despite the Tanzanian government saying that this was not government policy and only Mr Makonda’s personal opinion.
Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said:
“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.
“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.”
The men were arrested when police raided a party which was allegedly conducting same-sex marriage.
The European Union has recalled its ambassador from Tanzania over “the deterioration of human rights and rule of law” in the country.