Amnesty International calls for release of Tanzanian journalist

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Amnesty International has called for the release of Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera who was taken from his home and detained on July 29.

The rights group has condemned the arrest of the investigative journalist, citing a crackdown on media freedoms in Tanzania under the rule of President John Magufuli. Amnesty described his arrest as “outrageous” and called for Kabendera’s immediate release.

‘Assault on press freedom’

“The arrest of Erick Kabendera is an assault on press freedom and further underlines the rising repression of journalists and perceived government critics in Tanzania,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“People have been killed, physically assaulted, threatened, harassed or abducted for expressing their views,” she added.

Kabendera was taken from his home in Dar es Salaam on Monday by men in plain clothing. Police called a press conference the following day and announced that he had been arrested and is being held in relation to his citizenship.

However, Amnesty’s Joan Nyanyuki refuted the explanation provided by authorities and called for Kabendera’s immediate release.

“It is outrageous for the police to arrest the journalist and hold him incommunicado for more than 24 hours, then claim they are querying his citizenship. Erick Kabendera must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Featured image: “amnesty-international.jpg” flickr photo by Prachatai https://flickr.com/photos/prachatai/42174833074 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.