Tanzania shows great power sensitivity to UN human rights criticism

April 6, 2020

Chadema party MPs Halima Mdee, Ester Matiko and Ester Bulaya attend a press conference after being released from Segerea prison in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 12. PHOTO | AFP

Chadema party MPs Halima Mdee, Ester Matiko and Ester Bulaya attend a press conference after being released from Segerea prison in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 12. PHOTO | AFP
According to BOB KARASHANI in the East African of 4 April 2020 Tanzania‘s Foreign Affairs ministry has hit out at the United Nations Human Rights Office for criticising the country’s human rights record as it heads to the October general election. According to the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Col Wilbert Ibuge, the statement issued by the Geneva-based UN agency on March 17, was biased, with unsubstantiated allegations, and an attempt to both malign Tanzania’s international reputation and intrude on its sovereignty. Col Ibuge said that before going public, the agency should have first raised its concerns with the government for clarification “which would have been duly and graciously provided.”

The UN recently called the sentencing of several opposition leaders on charges including sedition and unlawful assembly “further troubling evidence” of a crackdown on dissent and stifling of public freedoms in the country. It accused the government of using the country’s criminal justice system to target its critics, and called on Tanzania to “immediately lift” a four-year ban on political rallies ahead of the October election. “The democratic and civic space has shrunk to almost nothing in Tanzania,” the agency said.

[see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/12/31/annual-reports-2019-tanzania-mostly-a-bad-year/]

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https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/Tanzania-slams-UN-rights-abuses-claims/4552908-5514120-6n56syz/index.html

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