Tanzania authorities have detained 500 sex workers along with 300 of their customers following a firm row of actions against prostitution.

Dar es Salaam’s deputy police commissioner, Simon Siro, has confirmed the detention of sex workers. Some suspects are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, reports BBC.

Siro said that authorities held the suspects in three prisons around the city.  However, rights groups do not agree with the arrests. They urged police not to hold sex workers beyond the 48-hours limit.  Tanzania’s President John Magufuli condemned prostitution and was concerned about the increasing trend in Tanzania.

DW reported that Tanzania police have started to detain male sex clients who pay for sex. However, the target is not only men but girls as well.

“I believe that the illegal business will stop if the law will be tough against both prostitutes and their clients,” Siro said.

Meanwhile, a group of people were reported having sex between graves at a cemetery in the Sinza suburb of Dar es Salaam.

“We ask for 10.000 Tanzanian shillings ($4.5, 4.1 Euro) for a short time, otherwise, we say ‘twende kwa babu’ [let’s go to the watchman’s pavilion]. There’s a mattress there but you will have to pay 15.000 shillings,” said Eliza A, a commercial sex worker.

The cemetery in the area is a common place for some prostitutes, which is littered with condoms after night.

“It’s not that people who come here for sex do not have money, some of them are ashamed of being spotted in guesthouses. That’s why they prefer this place,” Eliza said.

Authorities have noticed growing involvement of young teenagers in prostitution. It has increased in Tanzania in the past years. Moreover, police have been carrying out raids across various locations visited by sex workers.

Generally, teenagers are pushed into the prostitution ring by their family members to fulfil the financial needs. Most of them are forced into prostitution due to extreme poverty.