Woman arrested for kissing another woman in Tanzania after video goes viral
A woman could face jail in Tanzania after a video of her kissing another woman and presenting her with a ring went viral.
Homosexuality is illegal in the East African country as it is considered “against the order of nature”, and the woman was arrested in the northwestern town of Geita after the clip of her at a party was widely shared on social media.
The town’s police chief, Mponjoli Mwabulambo, said the woman was in custody and that officers were searching for the other woman in the video, which some Tanzanians condemned online as immoral.
Were the women to be convicted, they could be put behind bars.
The arrest comes during an even stronger crackdown on homosexuality in the country.
President John Magufuli has threatened to arrest and expel activists and de-register organisations that campaign for gay rights since he came to power two years ago.
In October, officers arrested 12 men after raiding a meeting at a hotel in the former capital city of Dar es Salaam, believing the gathering was promoting same-sex relationships.
Last year the country’s health ministry banned non-governmental organisations from distributing free lubricants to homosexuals as part of measures to control HIV and AIDS, despite health experts warning that shutting such targeted outreach programmes down could put the wider population at higher risk of infections.
The government estimates that 1.4 million Tanzanians are living with HIV, out of a population of more than 50 million.