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20 gay and lesbian Tanzanians arrested in hotel

FORBIDDEN: Gay Tanzanians are likely to be arrested if they are open about their sexuality

TANZANIAN POLICE have confirmed to British media outlets that they arrested 20 people over the weekend, who are accused of being homosexual; a crime that has the potential to carry the punishment of life imprisonment in the east African country.

Those detained were in a hotel, in the middle of a training programme about how to educate on HIV and AIDS when they were arrested. Eight men and 12 women went into police custody.

The Tanzanian Government have already laid down laws which prevent the majority of private health clinics in the region from offering advice and treatment related to HIV and AIDS because of the belief that they promoted gay sexual activity.

Commenting on this weekend's arrest, Hassan Ali Nasri, police commander, said on local Tanzanian television:

"They are implicated in homosexuality. We arrested them and are busy interrogating them. The police cannot turn a blind eye to this practice."

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