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Entertainment Tanzania: an arsenal of laws to silence the opposition ahead of the elections (Amnesty)

20:25  12 october  2020
20:25  12 october  2020 Source:   france24.com

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Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s government has built up a formidable arsenal of laws to stifle all forms of dissent ahead of this month’s elections , rights Earlier this month, authorities suspended the election campaign of leading opposition candidate Tundu Lissu for seven days over accusations of

Tanzania has escalated a crackdown on political opponents by selectively applying the law to thwart their campaign efforts ahead of this month's general election , Amnesty International said Monday. His main challenger is Tundu Lissu from the opposition Chadema party, who recently returned from

Le président tanzanien John Magufuli (C) à Dodoma, en Tanzanie, le 29 août 2020 © ERICKY BONIPHACE Tanzanian President John Magufuli (C) in Dodoma, Tanzania, August 29, 2020

The Tanzanian authorities have stepped up their repression of political opponents, using in a partisan way a large legislative arsenal to hamper their attempts to campaign in the run-up to the general elections on 28 October, Amnesty International denounced Monday.

Anti-corruption knight for his supporters, President John Magufuli, accused by his detractors of authoritarian drift and of having restricted public freedoms since his election in 2015, is seeking a second term.

Mr. Magufuli's government "has equipped itself with a formidable arsenal of laws to hamper all forms of dissent and effectively limit freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly in the run-up to the elections," Amnesty explains in a new report.

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Tanzania authorities have stepped up repression of opposition parties, nongovernmental organizations, and the media ahead of the country’s general elections on Tanzanians queue to cast their votes in the presidential election , at a polling station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Sunday, Oct.

The opposition argues that the election comission, whose members are appointed by the president, is not independent and have repeatedly called for Earlier this year the United States accused Tanzania of seeking to "stifle democratic norms" ahead of the election . On Monday police fired teargas at a

"Tanzania has instrumentalised the law to such an extent that nobody really knows when it is on the side of legality or illegality", underlines Deprose Muchena, Director of Amnesty International for East Africa and Southern, citing legislation on political meetings, the press, online activism or NGOs.

Le chef de l'opposition tanzanienne Tundu Lissu dans une chaise roulante à Nairobi le 5 janvier 2018 après avoir été blessé par balles dans son pays © TONY KARUMBA Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu in a wheelchair in Nairobi on January 5, 2018 after being shot and wounded in his country

The Tanzanian electoral commission in early October suspended the main opponent's campaign for seven days by President Magufuli, Tundu Lissu, member of the opposition Chadema party, for "seditious remarks" and "unfounded accusations" violating electoral laws.

According to Amnesty, the police also "selectively and partisanly enforced the law on public assemblies" in order to prevent the opposition from assembling and holding rallies, while the ruling CCM party is free to organize similar gatherings.

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Tanzanian police have arrested Freeman Mbowe, the leader of the main opposition party Chadema, according to Tundu Lissu, the party's candidate in last week's presidential election .

Tanzania -born Zara Kay is the founder of an organisation helping women who leave IslamImage caption: Tanzania -born The hotel has now been taken over by the Arusha Institute of Accountancy on a lease basis, with some of the rooms being refitted to accommodate double beds for students.

Amnesty describes this situation as "an extremely worrying and unhealthy sign".

Mr Lissu recently returned from three years of treatment and convalescence in Belgium, where he was treated after being wounded by 16 bullets in an assassination attempt in Tanzania in 2017.

Amnesty calls "progress" positive "his return to Tanzania - once considered a haven of stability in East Africa - to run for president.

"Nevertheless, with the approach of the elections, the opponents continue to report physical attacks, including kidnappings and beatings which were not the subject of rigorous, impartial and effective investigations", estimates long.

Authorities have also suspended media outlets on the basis of repressive and vague laws, and since August have required foreign journalists to be accompanied by a government chaperone, according to Amnesty,

Tanzanian voters will also choose their local MPs and councilors during the October 28 poll.

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