Group pickets outside Tanzanian embassy for release of arrested activists

Lawyers and activists working for social justice NGO ISLA and Chesa were arrested in that country earlier this month for allegedly promoting homosexuality.

FILE: A group protests outside the Tanzanian embassy in Pretoria on 24 October 2017 for the release of activists arrested in Tanzania for 'promoting homosexuality'. Picture: Twitter/@Tumi_06

JOHANNESBURG - A group of people are picketing outside the Tanzanian embassy in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon to demand the urgent release of 13 people, including two South Africans.

Lawyers and activists working for social justice NGO Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and Chesa were arrested in that country earlier this month for allegedly promoting homosexuality.

But they have not yet been formally charged, despite intense talks with the Tanzanian police to release the group.

ISLA's Matilda Lesseko said: “Release them all together, return their passports and allow them to leave the country. Alternatively, they need to decide whether they are laying any charges against them.”

The group was in the country preparing for a court battle, aimed at forcing the government to give better health services to their citizens.