The United States has spoken out against Tanzanian moves to cut back human rights and civil liberties, including arrests and harassment of “marginalised” people including 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. Government rejects the criticism.
“We are troubled by continued arrests and harassment of marginalised 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.
There was no immediate comment from Tanzanian authorities.
The United States earlier this month warned its citizens in Tanzania to be cautious after 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 government to safeguard people’s rights.