MISA Tanzania calls for safety of journalists in Tanzania

MISA Tanzania calls for safety of journalists in Tanzania

Alarmed by ongoing harassments of journalists and human rights defenders, the Tanzania Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) made the following statement:

“Press freedom is one of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by article 18 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. It is also enshrined in universal human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights.

Journalists keep power in check and thereby foster democracy and help safeguarding the rule of law.

However, MISA Tanzania is deeply saddened by the recent incidents of physical harassment of journalists in the country while performing their cardinal duty of informing the public.

“We join all media stakeholders and human rights defenders in condemning the physical maltreatment of WAPO Radio sports Journalists Silas Mbise by the Police which happened on August 8 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.”

The incident happened during the commendation of the ‘Day’ of one of the most prominent teams in Tanzania, Simba Sports Club best known as SIMBA DAY. On the same day Simba was playing a friendly match with Ghana side Asante Kotoka.

“Sport is a universal language. At its best it can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. It is very strange for a Journalist to be attacked publicly, not by any side of the teams in question, but by the very same people tasked with protecting peoples’ lives and their property.”

In the same note, MISA Tanzania joins partners and stakeholders in condemning the attack and harassment of newspaper journalist Sitta Tuma in Turwa ward, Tarime District in Mara region. The Tanzania Daima Correspondent was arrested and beaten by the police while covering a political rally on allegations on participating in an illegal rally.

These acts, not only do they discourage the working relationship with the police force but also deny the public of their fundamental right of access to information.
MISA Tanzania vehemently condemns violations of press and media freedom and calls relevant authorities to publicly apologise and take action against the perpetrators.

MISA’S POSITION

MISA is a freedom of expression organisation that works towards advancing media freedom, access to information and the right to free expression, both online and offline. MISA will therefore continue to respond to attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and social media activists, and applaud efforts of the relevant authorities in advancing, promoting and upholding the best human rights standards on media and press freedom.

Signed by
Salome Kitomary
Chairperson
MISA Tanzania
August 19th, 2018

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