In anticipation of nationwide demonstrations planned for April 26 to protest recent government actions, including limits on criticism of the government, coupled with Tanzanian authorities’ arrests of citizens using social media to encourage people to join the protests, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Tanzania’s government authorities should respect the constitutional right of citizens to assemble and peacefully protest,” said Jon Temin, director for Africa programs at Freedom House. “In light of pre-emptive arrests and hostile rhetoric by the government, we urge authorities to respect citizens’ rights to freely organize. Amid signs of a wavering commitment to democracy and human rights, the Tanzanian government should show that it will safeguard fundamental principles of democratic states, including the right to speak freely.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.