Tanzania taskforce starts ‘witch hunt’ to round up LGBT community

Officials in Tanzania have launched a surveillance task force to hunt down and "round up" members of the LGBT+ community within its borders.

Governor Paul Makonda today announced the creation of a new surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down gay people in the major city of Dar es Salaam, and told reporters "round-ups" would begin next week.

The crackdown comes amid a harsh repression of opposition parties in the country and numerous disappearances, sparking human rights concerns from the international community.

Now a new team is said to scrutinise social media for "homosexual acts" and arrest people in same-sex couples.

Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania, and homophobia has been increasingly prevalent since the election of President John Magufuli, who is known for anti-gay rhetoric, in 2015.

Some 17 officers from the Tanzania Communications Authority and police and media practitioners would be brought in to run the "round-ups".

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