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Tanzania, Journalist Erick Kabendera Freed but Human Rights Violations Continue

On 24 February 2020, Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera was released from prison. He had been sentenced to three months in prison which he plea-bargained with a fine of over €70,000 to which a further fine of approximately €45,000 was added.

He was arrested on 5 August 2019 and charged with money laundering and leading organized crime in what initially appeared to be legal action for the purpose of political persecution. Kabendera had asked to be released on bail ten times but his requests were always denied. His mother died while he was in prison and his health deteriorated to the point of suffering paralyses in his right foot and difficulty breathing.

Kabendera is a well-known and respected journalist who has collaborated many newspapers including The Guardian. His investigative reporting shed light on the power struggles within Tanzanian institutions including a conspiracy to prevent the re-election of President John Magufuli, who has been in office since 2015 and promotes repressive policies.

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