12 women and eight men arrested for being gay

In July 2016, the government banned the import and sales of sexual lubricants saying it encouraged homosexuality which led to the spread of HIV/Aids,

12 women and eight men were arrested in a hotel while they were receiving training about HIV/Aids education programmes.

Regional police commander Hassan Ali Nasri announced the arrests on state television.

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

On Friday, Deputy Health Minister Hamisi Kingwangalla vowed in front of parliament to "fight with all our strength against groups supporting homosexuality in our country," AFP news agency reported.

Homosexuality is a crime in Tanzania and early this year; authorities banned many private health clinics from providing HIV/Aids services, saying that doing so encouraged gay sex.

In July 2016, the government banned the import and sales of sexual lubricants, with Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu saying it encouraged homosexuality which led to the spread of HIV/Aids, AFP adds.

Human rights groups have however condemned the attacks and harassment melted down on gay people in Tanzania.

In July, human rights group Amnesty International said the authorities were "arresting and prosecuting people on homosexuality-related charges, and subjecting them to forced anal examinations".

Gay male sex is punishable by up to 30 years in jail in Tanzania.

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