09/30/2019

Urgent Action: Another Journalist Arrested to Silence Dissent (Tanzania: UA 127.19)


Erick Kabendera, a well-respected journalist whose investigations have been critical of the human rights record of the Tanzanian government, was taken by six men in plainclothes from his home in Dar es Salaam on 29 July without explanation, according to family sources. Held incommunicado for more than 24 hours, he was charged on 5 August with three offenses that he allegedly committed between January 2015 and July 2019 in Dar es Salaam. Concerns have also been raised for his wellbeing as his health has deteriorated since his detention.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 127.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
President John P. Magufuli
P.O. Box 11400,
Dar es Salaam,
Tanzania
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Wilson Masilingi
Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania
1232 22nd St. NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: 202 884 1080 I Fax: 202 797 7408
Email: [email protected]
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2SAIqpL
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Your Excellency,

I am writing to express my concern for Erick Kabendera, a journalist who was arrested by plain clothed men at his home on 29 July 2019 and remains in detention. Charged with leading organized crime, failure to pay tax and money laundering on 5 August 2019, his case has since been postponed four times.

I also wish to bring to your attention Erick Kabendera’s deteriorating health. He has breathing problems and one of his legs is paralyzed.

I fear that the arrest and continued detention of Eric Kabendera is part of a wider pattern of increasing intimidation of journalists and repression of press freedom by the Tanzanian government and that he is being detained solely for peacefully expressing his right to freedom of expression.

I therefore call on you to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Erick Kabendera and ensure that all charges against him are dropped; and ensure that journalists in Tanzania are allowed to freely carry out their work in a safe environment and without any harassment, intimidation or fear of reprisals.

Yours sincerely,

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