Groups urge Tanzania to end threats against rights groups

Rights groups are urging Tanzania's government to "end its hostile rhetoric toward civil society groups and threats to obstruct their work."

Twenty-five local and international groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, said in a statement Thursday that they are concerned by comments targeting groups helping pregnant girls finish their education and those supporting LGBT people.

Last month Tanzanian President John Magufuli reportedly said pregnant students can seek vocational training or become entrepreneurs, but should not be allowed to return to formal school.

Tanzania's government has also threatened to prosecute groups supporting LGBT people, who increasingly cite harassment.

The statement by the rights groups said many schools routinely force girls to undergo pregnancy tests and expel girls who are found to be pregnant.