Johannesburg – South African human rights lawyer Sibongile Ndashe and her 12 colleagues, who were arrested by Tanzanian authorities on October 17 for “promoting homosexuality”, have been released on bail, a colleague has confirmed. They were arrested at the Peacock Hotel in the country’s capital, Dar es Salaam.
Same-sex relations are prohibited in Tanzania. Ndashe was granted bail on before but on 20th it was revoked. Matilda Lasseko a senior lawyer and spokesperson at the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in South Africa (ISLA) said that even though the 13 were released on bail, it did not mean that they would return to South Africa.
The release does not allow them to return to South Africa instead it only allows them to return to their hotels in Tanzania. In terms of their bail conditions they still have to report to a police station in Tanzania. They were told to return to the police station on Friday morning.
According to Lesseko “They [authorities] are still holding their passports, and there are still no charges laid. We don’t know if they will be given their passports back. In the meantime, the authorities will continue their investigation.”
Ndashe was in the east African country along with other lawyers to facilitate a workshop that was meant to challenge the Tanzanian government’s closure of HIV centres.
News24 previously reported that the South African High Commissioner in Tanzania Thami Mseleku, has been in touch with police since the arrest.