Zanzibar police arrest 10 for ‘gay wedding’
By Athuman Mtulya
Police in Zanzibar, Tanzania, have arrested 10 men for allegedly conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony.
A senior police office told the BBC that the arrest was made on Saturday night at Pongwe Beach.
The 10 are being held at Chakwa police station in Unguja, the main island in the Zanzibar archipelago, and so far no charges have been brought against them.
Police are believed to have received a tip-off from members of public about the ceremony.
Six other men escaped after police raided their party, according to rights group Amnesty International.
Amnesty’s East Africa Deputy Director Seif Magango said that it was “mind-boggling that the mere act of sitting in a pair can assume criminal proportions”.
He added that he fears the men may have been subjected to a forced anal examination and urged the police to release them “immediately”.
The development comes a week after Paul Makonda, the head of the administration for the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, formed a surveillance squad to track down homosexuals.
Tanzania’s government, through a statement from the ministry of foreign affairs, however distanced itself from the move claiming that “Mr Makonda was only airing his personal opinion”, not government policy.