Tanzanian men arrested for ‘being gay’ released on bail

Riot police in Tanzania

10 men who were arrested last weekend in Tanzania on suspicion of engaging in homosexual activity have been released on bail, according to the Thomas Reuters Foundation.

The men were arrested after they attended a same-sex wedding. LGBT+ people in Tanzania can face life imprisonment if they are convicted of having gay sex.

Tanzania was a refuge for LGBT+ people until the last couple of years (LGBT Voice Tanzania)

Police reportedly raided the wedding at Pongwe Beach on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar and detained the men last Saturday, according to Amnesty International.

Thomas Reuters Foundation has reported that the men were released on bail on Thursday, according to a senior police official and the men’s lawyer.

‘No Evidence’

However, the incident is still being investigated and the men could be charged in the future if more evidence against them is found.

The regional police commander for the area in Tanzania, Suleiman Hassan, told Reuters that they have so far “found no evidence of unlawful acts.”

“We are however continuing our investigation and if we find evidence, they could be rearrested and charged,” he added.

A lawyer representing the 10 men – who did not want to be named – also told Reuters that they had been released, but added that the case could continue.

“I have dealt with many such cases and given the high level of homophobia in the country, I don’t think this will be the end for my clients,” he said.

He added that the men are “likely to be harassed and re-arrested.”

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