Ten men have been arrested for allegedly conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.

The arrests were made on Saturday night at a beach resort, a senior police officer told the BBC.

In recent years there have been a number of measures that appear to have targeted homosexuals in Tanzania.

But this week the Tanzanian government distanced itself from anti-gay rhetoric from a prominent politician.

No charges have yet been brought against the men, all Tanzanian, who are being held at a police station.

Six other men escaped after police, who are believed to have received a tip-off from members of the public, raided the party, according to rights group Amnesty International

Amnesty’s East Africa Deputy Director Seif Magango said that it was “mind-boggling that the mere act of sitting in a pair can assume criminal proportions”.

He added that he feared the men may be subjected to forced anal examination and called for their immediate release.

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