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U.S. Citizens in Tanzania Cautioned in Wake of Anti-LGBTQ Witch Hunt

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The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania warns citizens to be careful what they post online, given the crackdown announced by the governor of Dar es Salaam.

The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania has urged Americans living there to be careful what they post online after Paul Makonda, governor of Dar es Salaam, called last week for the mass arrest of LGBTQ people in his city, The Guardian reports.

The security alert, which came Saturday night, advised people to review their social media accounts and look for any posts that might tip off Gov. Makonda's 17-person committee dedicated to finding LGBTQ people on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

"Remove or protect images and language that may run afoul of Tanzanian laws regarding homosexual practices and explicit sexual activity," the alert stated. U.S. citizens should also monitor international and local news, the embassy's website noted.

It further stated that although Tanzanian authorities should notify the embassy if a U.S. citizen is arrested, they do not always do so.

"Know that although under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Tanzanian officials are obligated to alert the American Embassy if they arrest American citizens, this is not consistently done," the warning noted. "Detained or arrested citizens should, therefore, ask authorities if consular notification has been made."

Gov. Makonda's controversial crackdown does not have support from Tanzania's national government, which has started issuing statements distancing itself from him.

"The government of the United Republic of Tanzania would like to clarify that those are his own views and not the government position," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared, according to The Guardian.

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