20 sus­pected gays ar­rested in Zanz­ibar

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

ZANZ­IBAR, Tan­za­nia — Au­thor­i­ties in Tan­za­nia’s semi­au­tonomous re­gion of Zanz­ibar have de­tained 20 people ac­cused of en­gag­ing in same-sex ac­tiv­i­ties, po­lice said Satur­day, the lat­est in­ci­dent in a crack­down on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in the East African coun­try.

Twelve women and eight men were ar­rested after a po­lice raid on a ho­tel where the sus­pects were at­tend­ing a work­shop, said re­gional po­lice chief Has­san Ali.

“Yes, we rounded them up be­cause we sus­pect that they were en­gaged in ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in Zanz­ibar, which is il­le­gal in Zanz­ibar and is against the law of the coun­try,” he said, adding that po­lice “will in­ten­sify [their] vig­i­lance against those groups.”

Ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is crim­i­nal­ized in Tan­za­nia, and sex among men is pun­ish­able by jail terms rang­ing from 30 years to life im­pris­on­ment.

Tan­za­nian au­thor­i­ties re­cently have cracked down on ho­mo­sex­u­als. In September 2016, the gov­ern­ment tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended HIV/AIDS out­reach projects tar­get­ing gay men.

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