JOINT STATEMENT CONDEMNING THE RAID OF THE MEDIA HOUSE IN TANZANIA

Keywords : Declarations Human and trade union rights Solidarity Letters Tanzania

At the sideline of the AU-EU CSOs conference on Freedom of Expression, African CSOs reacted to the situation in Tanzania (read the statement). ITUC-Africa actively supported this statement as we contributed to its drafting and adoption.

Kampala, 26 March 2017-We media stakeholders, human rights organizations,
African Civil Society Forums on Democratic Governance meeting during the Pan
African Conference on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information held in
Kampala, Uganda from 25 to 26 March 2017; strongly condemn the illegal raid
carried out by a Regional Commissioner into a media house with a view to influence
their editorial content that subsequently led to the dismissal of the Minister of
Information who intervened and ordered an inquiry into the questionable actions.

On 17 March 2017, the Dar-es-Salaam Regional Commisioner, Paul Makonda,
invaded a private broadcaster, Clouds Media, with six armed police officers
demanding that they should air a pre- recorded audio-visual material. The station
declined to broadcast the audio-visual material. Information Minister, Nape Nnauye,
visited the raided station and formed an inquiry committee to probe further the
incident and make public its findings.

Surprisingly, immediately after issuing a report that implicates the Regional
Commissioner the Minister was sacked.
President Magufuli threatened to shut down any newspaper, Television, radio that will
not cover positively actions of the government. In the recent past, the government has
banned opposition rallies and switched off live broadcasts of parliamentary sessions.
‘’Since the commencement of the new leadership, Tanzania witnessed a number of
incidents undermining freedom of expression and safety of journalists. More than 40
incidents involving arrest, frivolous charges, and harassment of journalists by District
Commissioners and police have been recorded for past two years’’ said the Tanzania
Human Rights Defenders Coalition,

We laud the sacked Minister of Information for for his steadfast position in defence of
media freedom and freedom of expression. The African continent has strong
continental mechanisms that protect the right to freedom of expression and access to
information, including the African Union Constitutive Act, the African Charter on
Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) and the Declaration of Principles on
Freedom of Expression in Africa.

The Acts by Regional Commissioner and dismissal of the Minister who defended the
forceful entry into the media house violated the laws and the Constitution of Tanzania
including regional and international instruments on freedom of expression.

We therefore urge the president of Tanzania to protect those who combat impunity
and attack against media house and media practitioners as well as human rights
defenders; to respect the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in
Africa adopted in 2002, the Declaration, supplements Article 9 of the African Charter
and all others regional and international instruments protecting freedom of expression and access to information. The President of Tanzania is also reminded that Principle XI (2) of the declaration obligates State Parties to ensure that effective measures are put in place to prevent such attacks and, when they do occur, to investigate them, punish the perpetrators and ensure that victims have access to effective remedies.

This statement has been Signed on 26th/03/2017 by the following 32 Civil Society
organizations;

Organization Country
1. Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS)
South Sudan
2. Media Rights Agenda Nigeria
3. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition-THRDC Tanzania
4. Africa Freedom of Information Centre Uganda
5. African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies Gambia
6. Rwanda Journalists Association Rwanda
7. Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda
8. National Union of Somali Journalists Somalia
9. East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project Uganda
10. International Federation of Journalists Belgium
11. Union des syndicats des professionnels de la presse d’Afrique Centrale Congo Brazzaville
12. Journaliste en danger DRC
13. Sudan Journalists Union Sudan
14. Syndicat du personnel de la presse et de l’audio-visuel djiboutien Djibouti
15. Nigeria Labour Congress Nigeria
16. Fédération Syndicale des Travailleurs de la Communication Congo
17. ITUC-Africa Togo
18. Syndicat National Des Journalistes Du Cameroun Cameroun
19. Centre for Media Studies and Peace Building Liberia
20. Association des Journalistes de Guinée Guinée
21. Syndicat National Des Journalistes Tunisiens Tunisia
22. Syndicat Des Professionnels De L’information Et De La Communication Du Sénégal Senegal
23. Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) Nigeria
24. Media Institute for Southern Africa Zimbabwe
25. Network Of National Human Rights Institutions Kenya
26. South Africa History Archives South Africa
27. Never Again Rwanda and Africa Democracy Forum Rwanda
28. Media Foundation for West Africa Ghana
29. Ghana Journalists Association Ghana
30. ARTICLE 19 East & Horn of Africa Kenya
31. B&S Europe Belgium
32. Right 2 Know South Africa

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