CPJ: Detained Tanzanian journalist needs urgent medical attention

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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says detained Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera needs urgent medical attention.

In a statement released on Friday, the press freedom group said the journalist’s health is failing and called upon authorities in Tanzania to release him immediately. This came after a magistrate in Dar es Salaam declined a request from Kabendera’s lawyers for him to be escorted to hospital by prison officials.

Erick Kabendera in need of medical attention

According to CPJ, a prison doctor has seen Erick Kabendera and prescribed him medication but his lawyer and family have received no diagnosis or update about the condition of his health. CPJ revealed one of of the journalist’s lawyers, Jebra Kambole, told the organisation that he has had trouble breathing and walking for at least a week.

“Erick Kabendera should not be behind bars, and the reports that he is experiencing health problems in detention are deeply distressing,” said CPJ Sub-Saharan Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo.

“Tanzanian authorities have a duty to ensure that Kabendera receives the urgent medical care he needs, but more than that, they should put an end to their contrived legal delays and free Kabendera unconditionally.”

Erick Kabendera was arrested in July, which authorities claimed were part of an investigation into his citizenship. However, the journalist was later charged with money laundering and organised criminal activity – charges numerous rights groups have accused of being politically motivated.

Featured image: CPJ

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.