Tanzania: US concerned by rising attacks on human rights, incl. LGBT+ rights

(Reuters) – The United States has spoken out against Tanzanian moves to cut back human rights and civil liberties, including arrests and harassment of ‘marginalised’ people such as homosexuals.

President John Magufuli’s government has been criticised by opposition politicians and international rights groups, for what they say is growing authoritarianism and intolerance of dissent. The government rejects the criticism.

“We are troubled by the continued arrests and harassment of marginalized persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and others who seek to exercise their rights to freedom of speech, association and assembly”, the US State Department said in a statement seen by Reuters on Sunday.

There was no immediate comment from Tanzanian authorities.

The United States earlier this month warned its citizens in Tanzania to be cautious after the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, announced a crackdown on homosexuality, a criminal offence.

“The deteriorating state of human rights and rule of law in Tanzania inhibits development, economic prosperity, peace, and security”, the US statement said, urging the government to safeguard people’s rights.

-Nuzulack Dausen

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