DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — Tanzanian authorities say they have arrested five schoolgirls so they can help with information on the men who impregnated them.
Tandahimba District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba said late Monday that the schoolgirls were arrested last week. They were later released on bail. He says police seek to question two other schoolgirls.
The East African nation sentences those who impregnate schoolgirls to at least 30 years in prison. The penalties are intended to discourage early marriages and teenage pregnancies that lead to school dropouts.
But human rights groups have condemned authorities for implementing policies that don’t allow schoolgirls to return to class after pregnancies.
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Human Rights Watch says many girls regularly experience sexual harassment and exploitation by teachers in schools and that schools lack adequate protection and confidential reporting mechanisms.