Mudathir, Khamis, and two of their friends were accused of “laziness and loitering” and escorted to a squad car.By the end of that night, gay men had been arrested all over the island.The officers were wearing street clothes and, unexpectedly, spoke with mainland accents.
He had always known he could be arrested for being gay, but expected he would have to pay a bribe and that would be that.
But as the hours ticked by, none of the officers made the requisite gesture.
But now the Tanzanian government is getting aggressive. (Buzz Feed News spoke to four of them and is using only their first names to protect their identities.) Government ministers have threatened to release lists of LGBT people across Tanzania, and health workers say it’s begun interfering with HIV prevention and treatment.
Tanzania’s crackdown could not have come at a worse time.
“It cannot be proven whether he did it today or yesterday or the day before,” he told Buzz Feed News by telephone.
But “speaking as a medical practitioner, I say yes, one can be examined physically for whether he has engaged in sexual activities unnaturally.”Only eight countries in the world use anal testing, according to a Human Rights Watch report, and until December, Tanzania was not one of them. “This is a country with laws.” Kigwangalla frequently takes to Twitter to say that gay people will be rounded up and arrested — and to occasionally swat away allegations of prejudice.
Khamis’s reaction is exactly why LGBT activists and lawyers consider anal exams a violation of human rights.
It’s been conclusively shown, they say, that the exams can prove nothing, and the victims of this treatment often feel they have been assaulted.
At a bar across the road, Mudathir was celebrating his 19th birthday with about a dozen friends.