Adoption of Tanzania's Universal Periodic Review

Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Human Rights -- Outcome Adoption for Tanzania

Delivered by Sibahle Zuma

CIVICUS and its partners welcome the Republic of Tanzania’s engagement with the UPR process and for accepting the majority of its recommendations.

We particularly welcome Tanzania’s commitment to amend the restrictive Media Services Act of 2016, which is a critical opportunity to address long-standing gaps in existing media legislation and has the potential to expand the space available to media actors to exercise their fundamental rights. We also welcome the lifting of the ban on the four newspapers – Mawio, Mwanahalisi, Tanzania Daima, and Mseto. We further welcome the Republic’s commitment to conducting investigations of all threats and attacks against and killings of journalists, civil society actors and human rights defenders and holding those responsible to account.

Notwithstanding these positive developments, we remain concerned about the civic space restrictions that remain. Tanzanian law guarantees a number of rights consistent with international standards; however, citizens' ability to exercise these rights is severely limited in practice. Individuals and organisations frequently refrain from exercising their right to free expression, both online and in print, out of fear of arrest, censorship, and persecution.

Recommendations to amend restrictive laws to guarantee freedom of expression have only been partially accepted.

While we welcome the recent release of opposition leader Freeman Mbowe after eight months in custody on charges believed to be politically motivated, we note that authorities continue to systematically use the justice system as a tool to target and harass members and leaders of the opposition. Authorities also ban public gatherings to thwart protests, and arrest peaceful protesters.

We regret that Tanzania did not accept a recommendation to amend the Non-Governmental Organisations Act (Amendments) Regulation 2018, in line with international human rights standards on freedoms of association and peaceful assembly.

CIVICUS and its partners call on the Government of the Republic of Tanzania to immediately and urgently take measures to implement all UPR recommendations, particularly those pertaining to efforts to addressing civic space and human rights.

We thank you.

Civic space in Tanzania is rated as repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor 




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