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Tanzania: Second journalist arrested in a month must be released unconditionally

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Responding to the arrest of journalist Joseph Gandye, who had been investigating allegations of brutality by the Tanzanian police, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki said:

“Joseph Gandye is a respected journalist who had been investigating allegations of serious human rights violations such as torture and other ill-treatment and sexual abuse by the Tanzanian police. His arbitrary arrest is a travesty and a ploy to prevent him from exposing human rights violations. He must be released immediately and unconditionally.

“The Tanzanian authorities are clearly intensifying their crackdown on dissent and journalists are on the frontline of attack. Rather than harassing journalists, they should respect, protect and fulfil the right to freedom of expression and media freedom.

“The authorities must promptly, thoroughly, impartially and effectively investigate the alarming allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in police custody that Joseph Gandye was investigating.”

Background

Joseph Gandye, associate head and production editor of Watetezi TV, an online media organization owned by the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC), was detained at a police station in Dar es Salaam on 22 August 2019 where he had gone to respond to police summons on the matter.

He published an investigative piece on police brutality in Iringa, central Tanzania, which the police termed seditious, degrading to the police and defamatory to the government.

Joseph Gandye is the second journalist to be arrested in Tanzania in less than a month, after Erick Kabendera who is currently in detention facing fabricated charges.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.
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