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Submission by Human Rights Watch to the UN Human Rights Committee in Advance of its Adoption of the List of Issues for Tanzania’s Fifth Reporting Cycle

March 2021

This document provides an overview of Human Rights Watch’s observations and questions to Tanzania in advance of the upcoming pre-sessional review of Tanzania by the UN Human Rights Committee (“the Committee”).

We hope that it will inform the Committee’s consideration of the compliance of the government of Tanzania (“the government”) with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“the Covenant”) and prove useful as the Committee draws up the “List of Issues” to seek further clarity from the government on outstanding issues with regard to its adherence to the Covenant.

The concerns described below derive from Human Rights Watch’s ongoing research on Tanzania since the last periodic review in 2009. Our research has found that since President John Magufuli came to power in 2015, Tanzania has seen a significant backslide in respect for the rule of law, political pluralism and human rights. The government has severely restricted freedom of association and expression and has undermined equal protection, including in education and health care.

Attacks on the Political Opposition (Articles 7, 9, 19, 21, 22)

Opposition party members in Tanzania have faced multiple arbitrary arrests and criminal charges, at times for publicly criticizing the government.

In 2016, President Magufuli ordered that all political activities be suspended until the 2020 general elections. Police implemented this order vigorously, arresting members of parliament who were visiting their constituencies or holding rallies in their own constituencies and charging them with criminal offenses.

In August 2016, police arrested Godbless Lema, a Chadema member of parliament for Arusha Urban, and Salum Mwalimu, the party’s deputy secretary general in Zanzibar, accusing both of sedition.[1] In August 2017, police arrested Ester Bulaya, a Chadema member of parliament for Bunda, for conducting political activities outside her constituency.[2]

In July 2017, a Dar es Salaam district commissioner ordered the arrest of Halima Mdee, a member of parliament and head of the women’s wing of the opposition political party Chadema. Mdee had been critical of the president’s decision to ban pregnant girls from public schools during a press conference. Authorities charged her with using “obscene, abusive or insulting language” under the penal code for her remarks.[3]

In October 2017, police arrested Zitto Kabwe, leader of ACT Wazalendo, an opposition party, and charged him for breaching the Cybercrimes and Statistics Acts of 2015.[4]

In February 2018, nine opposition members, including the chairperson of Chadema, Freeman Mbowe, were charged with sedition, incitement of violence and holding an illegal rally, in Dar es Salaam.[5]

In 2019, Parliament amended the Political Parties Act to restrict the space in which political parties can independently operate by giving the registrar of political parties wide powers to deregister parties and imposing prison sentences for conducting unauthorized civil education.[6]

In the lead up to the 2020 elections, the authorities arrested several opposition members. On June 23, police arrested Kabwe and seven other opposition members during an internal meeting of their party, ACT Wazalendo, in Kilwa.  On October 12, police arrested and beat opposition parliamentary candidate Catherine Ruge and several of her colleagues at an election campaigns coordination office in the northern Serengeti district. A policeman later sexually assaulted her, touching her inappropriately at a police station. On October 14, police in Tarime, in the northern Mara Region, raided the home of a Chadema parliamentary candidate, Esther Matiko, arresting one person. On October 23 and again on October 28, police arrested and soon released Chadema opposition member, Halima Mdee. Edward Bukombe, the Kinondoni regional police commander, said that the police arrested Mdee after an “altercation.” On October 26, police arrested an ACT Wazalendo party official, Hamad Masoud Hamad, shortly after he landed at Pemba Airport in Zanzibar. He was released on November 2 without charge.

The police arrested and later released opposition presidential candidate for Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad, at a polling place on Unguja island on October 27. On October 29, Hamad called on his party supporters to protest the election results, which he said had been rigged. The police arrested him and 40 others before the protests began, but later released Hamad on bail.

On October 28, opposition party ACT Wazalendo reported that its deputy-secretary general Nassor Mazrui had been abducted from his home in Zanzibar. Police later claimed that Mazrui and 32 others were arrested for possessing devices that could interfere with the electoral system. On November 17, the authorities released opposition party ACT Wazalendo’s deputy secretary general, Nassor Mazrui, after he spent 23 days in detention.  ACT Wazalendo officials said that they were denied access to all their party members who had been detained for several days.

On November 1, the police arrested the Chadema chairperson, Freeman Mbowe, and party members Godbless Lema and Boniface Jacob. On November 2, the police arrested and later released opposition presidential candidate Tundu Lissu, the opposition presidential candidate

Opposition members have also faced attacks from unidentified assailants. In September 2017 unidentified assailants shot opposition parliamentarian Tundu Lissu, leaving him badly wounded outside his home in the Tanzanian capital, Dodoma. Although the government said at the time it was investigating the attack, no one has been arrested over the shooting three years on.

We encourage the Committee to ask the government:

  • What steps has the government taken to investigate the assassination attempt against Tundu Lissu?
  • Does the government commit to ensuring existing restrictions on political parties and opposition members to independently operate in Tanzania are removed?

Attacks on Press Freedom and Other Attacks on Freedom of Expression (Articles 7, 9, 19)

The 2016 Media Services Act gives government agencies broad powers to censor the media and limit independent journalism. It requires journalists to be accredited by the government, which violates international standards on freedom of expression, and creates broad and vague offenses that are open to abuse by the government, such as the publication of statements that threaten “the interests of public order” or “public morality.”[7] The law also gives broad oversight to the director of information services, including the power to arbitrarily suspend or cancel newspaper licenses. The East African Court of Justice has held that the law violates the East African Community’s establishing treaty’s rules on good governance and called on the Tanzanian government to amend it.[8]

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), a quasi-independent government body, was in 2018 given wide discretionary powers to license blogs, websites and other online content. Bloggers are required to pay fees of up to 2,100,000 Tanzania shillings (US$900) to acquire an operating license from TCRA, an amount many struggle to raise. Non-compliance with this law is a criminal offense.[9]

In July 2020, the government passed amendments to the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, which provide criminal penalties for publishing online “content against the State and public order,” or calling for demonstrations, or that “promotes or favors what would raise sedition, hatred or racism.” The regulations also prohibit promoting homosexuality, which could be used to prosecute people for conducting LGBT rights advocacy, or for publishing "information with regards to the outbreak of a deadly or contagious disease" without government approval. Violators may be fined or sentenced to a year in prison.[10]

In June 2020, the government amended the Electronic and Postal Communications (Radio and Television) regulations, banning Tanzanian radio and television broadcasters from working with foreign broadcasters without communications authority or other government staff present, suggesting that foreign broadcasters may not be able cover events in Tanzania without government permission.

The authorities restricted mobile phone and online communications ahead of the elections, restricting access to internet and social media networks. On October 21, TCRA ordered telecom companies to suspend bulk text messaging until after the elections, blocking candidates from reaching large audiences.

The Tanzanian government has banned or suspended newspapers and radio stations, raided them, or fined them for publishing or broadcasting content that is critical of the government. In February 2019, the Department of Information Services under the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports suspended Tanzania’s major English language newspaper, The Citizen, for seven days.[11] The newspaper had published two articles, one about US Senator Bob Menendez raising concerns about civil liberties in Tanzania, and another reporting that the Tanzania shilling was falling against the US dollar. The department said the articles were one sided.

In 2017, the same authorities banned four newspapers. Mawio was banned after publishing an article that linked former presidents with controversial mining contracts; Tanzania Daima was banned for “continuous publication of false information” after it published an article claiming that 67 percent of Tanzanians use anti-retroviral drugs;  Mwanahalisi was banned for two years over allegations that it tarnished the president’s name,[12] and Raia Mwema was banned following the publication of an article titled “Magufuli presidency likely to fail.”[13] In Zanzibar, authorities shut down a radio station Swahiba FM in October 2015, as it reported on the annulment and subsequent re-run of 2015 elections.[14]

Authorities have also fined media for airing content they disagree with, including reporting on Covid-19. In January 2018, the TCRA fined five television stations 60 million Tanzania shillings ($27,000) for broadcasting a press conference by an NGO, the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC).[15] LHRC alleged that the government and other unidentified forces conducted arrests, torture and abductions of opposition members by during November 2017 by-elections in different parts of the country.[16] The regulator argued the content was “seditious” and contrary to the Broadcasting Services (Content) Regulations of 2005.

On April 2, 2020, the TCRA fined Star Media Tanzania Limited, Multichoice Tanzania Limited, and Azam Digital Broadcast Limited 5 million Tanzania shillings ($2,155) each for disseminating “false and misleading information about Tanzania’s stance on Covid-19” after television stations they owned broadcasted news about Covid-19. On April 16, 2020, the TCRA suspended the license of the online version of newspaper Mwananchi for six months after it posted a video of President Magufuli buying fish at a market, apparently not complying with social distancing and Covid-19 restrictions. The agency accused Mwananchi of publishing “false information,” contrary to the Online Content regulations. Mwananchi later apologized for posting the video, saying it was old.

Authorities have used the 2015 Cybercrimes Act to prosecute journalists for offenses such as “publishing false information.” On December 13, 2016, police arrested Maxence Melo, a prominent human rights defender and the owner of Jamii Forums, an independent whistleblower and reporting website, and Micke William, a shareholder of Jamii media, which hosts the site.

On December 16, 2016, the Resident Magistrate Court of Dar es Salaam brought charges against Melo under the Cybercrimes Act.[17] In June 2018, the court acquitted Melo and William of the charges of failure to comply with a police order to disclose the identity of platform users under the Cybercrimes Act.[18]  On November 17, 2020, Melo was acquitted on charges of operating a website that was not registered in Tanzania, but convicted him of obstructing police investigations by failing to disclose the personal data of whistleblowers who used his platform.[19]

Authorities have also beaten and arrested journalists while covering events, without charging them with any crime. On August 8, 2018, police arrested and repeatedly kicked journalist Sitta Tumma in Tarime district in north Tanzania, as he reported on police dispersing an opposition rally. He was held overnight before being released without charge.[20] In May 2017 police arrested 10 journalists covering the deaths of 35 people, including 32 schoolchildren from Lucky Vincent school in Arusha, who were killed when a bus they were travelling in crashed into a roadside ravine in Karatu, Arusha, on May 6.[21] Police arrested the journalists, from various media houses, at a ceremony to pay respects to the families of the students. The acting Arusha Regional Police Commander Yusuph Ilembo said police arrested them “for holding an unlawful meeting.”[22] The police eventually released the journalists without charge.[23] One of the journalists told Human Rights Watch that they were forced to kneel at gunpoint when they were arrested.[24]

Tanzanian authorities have failed to conduct adequate investigations into the disappearances and abductions of at least two journalists. In March 2016 unidentifed men abducted Zanzibar-based journalist Salma Said, two days before the re-run of presidential elections in Zanzibar. Before her abduction, Said had reported receiving telephone calls from unknown people telling her not to report on the forthcoming elections. Fearing for her safety, Said traveled to Dar es Salaam on March 18, where three men grabbed and forced her into a car at the airport. They covered her face and drove her to an unknown location where they beat her, threatened to kill her and asked her why she was reporting on the elections. On March 20, the men dumped her in the same place from which she was abducted.[25]

In November 2017, Anna Pinoni reported to police that her husband, freelance journalist Azory Gwanda, was missing. She said he was picked up from their home in Kibiti, 140 kilometres south of Dar es Salaam, by people in a white vehicle. Gwanda had been investigating a spate of unresolved killings in the southern Pwani region.[26]  Authorities have claimed investigations are ongoing but in July 2017, Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola said Gwanda could have “just gotten lost,”[27] and in June 2019, foreign affairs minister Palamagamba Kabudi said during an interview that Gwanda had “disappeared and died,” but later issued a clarification saying that he did not know whether the journalist was alive or dead.[28]

We encourage the Committee to ask the government:

  • What steps has the government taken to investigate the disappearances and abductions of journalists Azory Gwanda and Salma Said?
  • What steps has the government taken to amend the Media Services Act of 2016?
  • What steps has the government taken to implement the Committee’s previous recommendations to adopt appropriate measures to prevent any intimidation of journalists?[29]

Attacks on Freedom of Association (Article 22)

Tanzanian authorities have deregistered and raided civil society organizations for expressing controversial views, challenging government positions, or working with marginalized groups.

In June 2020, in Zanzibar, the registrar summoned Hamid Muhammad Ali, director of the AIDS Initiative, Youth Empowerment and Development Organization, an LGBT rights group, to a meeting in which officials questioned him and informed him that his organization’s registration was being suspended for “promoting homosexuality.” On August 10, the minister for regional administration, local government, and special departments cancelled the group’s nongovernmental organization license for going against the “religious and social values” of Zanzibar.

In April 2019 the NGO Coordination Board deregistered six organizations in mainland Tanzania, including Community Health and Education Support and Advocacy (CHESA), a prominent group working to protect the health and human rights of LGBT people, claiming that they were promoting “unethical acts.”

CHESA had previously been raided by police and the deputy minister of health in August 2016. The NGO Registrar then suspended CHESA in October 2017 after police raided a meeting it was co-hosting on the right to health in Tanzania, in collaboration with the South Africa-based Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa. During the 2017 raid, police arrested 12 lawyers and activists participating in the meeting, including two South Africans, one Ugandan and nine Tanzanian nationals, on spurious charges of “promoting homosexuality.”[30] While detaining them, police threatened to subject the lawyers and activists to forced anal examinations, a discredited method of seeking evidence of homosexual conduct that is cruel and degrading and can amount to a form of torture.[31] Police then released them on October 26, after nine days in jail.[32]

On other occasions, in December 2016 and September 2017, police raided meetings on health and human rights hosted by the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA) and by Bridge Initiatives Organization (BIO), a local group based in Zanzibar that provides HIV prevention services to key populations.

Authorities have also targeted staff of organizations working on mining. On July 12, 2017, police arrested two members of the Tanzanian NGO Actions for Democracy and Local Governance (ADLG) in the Shinyanga region, northern Tanzania, as they conducted a capacity-building workshop for local government officials working in mining areas, addressing how local communities can benefit from mining. Prosecutors charged them with “disobedience of statutory duty” under section 123 of the penal code, alleging that the two were operating outside the scope of their organization’s mandate and the NGO law.[33] Four months later, the Kishapu district court dropped the charges against them.

We encourage the Committee to ask the government:

  • What steps has the government taken to ensure that any restrictions imposed on NGOs and their peaceful pursuit of activities do not contravene its obligations under article 22?

Discrimination, Arbitrary Arrest and Torture and Ill-Treatment on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (Articles 2, 7, 17, 26)

Tanzanian law makes consensual adult same-sex conduct punishable with up to life in prison. Since 2016, Magufuli’s government has persecuted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people through waves of arbitrary arrests, threats, attacks on civil society and violations of the right to health. Human Rights Watch has documented numerous arbitrary arrests of LGBT people for attending meetings, gathering at bars or simply walking down the street.[34] In October 2018, the Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, Paul Makonda, announced plans to round up suspected gay men and subject them to forced anal examinations and conversion therapy, leading some LGBT people to flee their homes, including to seek asylum abroad. Other government officials, including Deputy Home Affairs Minister Hamad Masauni in 2019, have echoed threats to conduct mass arrests of LGBT people.[35]

In December 2016, Tanzania, for the first time known to Human Rights Watch, began subjecting people accused of homosexuality to forced anal examinations. These examinations lack evidentiary value and are a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that may in some cases amount to torture. The examinations, which have the purported objective of finding “proof” of homosexual conduct, sometimes involve doctors or other medical personnel forcibly inserting their fingers, or other objects, into the anus of the accused.[36] The United Nations special rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment has found that the exams are “intrusive and degrading” and “medically worthless,” amounting to “torture or ill-treatment.” The International Forensic Expert Group describes them as “a form of sexual assault and rape.”[37]

The Tanzanian government has also prevented LGBT people from accessing health care, which compromises LGBT people’s rights to health and life and is in violation of the right to equal protection under the law. Since 2016, the Ministry of Health has banned community-based organizations from providing HIV and public health services, including peer education and HIV testing, to men who have sex with men (MSM) and other groups considered to be key populations in the global fight against HIV, including sex workers and people who inject drugs, based on the pretext that such organizations are engaged in the “promotion of homosexuality.”[38]

The Health Ministry banned non-governmental organizations from distributing water-based lubricant, an essential HIV prevention tool for key populations and for much of the wider public. The ministry threatened to deregister organizations that do not obey the directive.[39]

In February 2017, the Health Ministry closed more than 30 drop-in centers that provided HIV testing, treatment, counselling, and other services to LGBT people and key populations, many of them run by the JHPIEGO, a US-based nonprofit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. The ministry asserted that these health centers, too, were involved in “homosexuality promotional activities.”[40]

The Health Ministry consistently claims its own government health centers will provide service to LGBT people and key populations, free of discrimination, and that there is therefore no need for specialized services run by civil society organizations. Human Rights Watch research has found, however, that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in government health centers is rampant. One of the most disturbing allegations heard by Human Rights Watch was that at various points between 2016 and 2018, public hostility to LGBT people and the lack of safe spaces to seek treatment meant that a number of HIV-positive people stopped taking their antiretroviral medication, possibly resulting directly in several deaths.[41]

We encourage the Committee to ask the government:

  • Does Tanzania intend to abide by the commitment made by President Magufuli in discussions with the World Bank in November 2018 to refrain from any discriminatory actions related to harassment and/or arrest of individuals, based on their sexual orientation?[42]
  • Will Tanzania issue a prohibition on all forced anal examinations in the context of prosecutions for consensual same-sex conduct?
  • Will the Home Affairs Ministry instruct the police on the mainland and in Zanzibar to end arrests based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression and to stop raiding meetings and workshops organized by LGBT rights and health advocates.
  • Will Tanzania allow civil society organizations that work to protect the rights and health of LGBT people to operate freely?
  • Will the government take the following measures to protect LGBT Tanzanians’ access to health care, in order to uphold the right to life and the right to equality before the law:
    • Issue a directive reversing the ban on distribution of lubricant.
    • Allow non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations to reopen drop-in centers providing HIV services and other health services to LGBT people and other key populations.
    • Reverse the prohibition on community-based organizations conducting HIV education and outreach targeting men who have sex with men and other key populations.
  • What steps will Tanzania take to repeal laws that discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation?

Discrimination Against Girls and Women (Articles 2, 3, 23, 26)

Tanzania prohibits pregnant girls, teenage mothers and girls forced to marry from completing primary and secondary education in public schools.[43] The expulsion of pregnant students from public schools is permitted under Tanzania’s education regulations.[44] Schools regularly conduct pregnancy tests and expel students found to be pregnant.  This ban affects a large number of adolescent girls: Tanzania has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy and birth rate: 25 percent of girls and young women aged 15 to 19 become mothers every year; 31 percent of girls are married before age 18.[45] The government has not published official data showing how many adolescent girls are affected by this ban, but estimates show that between 5,500 to 8,000 girls could be affected on annual basis.[46]

On June 22, 2017, President Magufuli stated, “As long as I’m president, no pregnant students will be allowed to return to school.” In January 2018, police in Tandahimba district, Mtwara region, arrested five girls aged between 16 and 19 for being pregnant, following orders from the district’s commissioner.[47] Government officials have continued to make public statements to enforce the ban, and support the use of compulsory pregnancy testing at the school level. In February 2020, for example, Dodoma District Commissioner Patrobas Katambi ordered mandatory pregnancy testing of all schoolgirls every three months, and stated that the names of girls identified as pregnant would be publicly announced after compulsory testing. He also ordered government officials to report cases to the police.[48]

In 2019, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called Tanzania’s policy “shocking,” while the African Commission special rapporteur on the rights of women in Africa and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child have expressed concern and said the Tanzanian government should fulfil its human rights obligations.[49]

In November 2018, the World Bank withheld a US$300 million loan destined for secondary education in Tanzania because of various concerns, including the government’s discriminatory approach to girls’ education.[50] Following discussions between both parties, the government committed to finding ways for the girls to return to school.[51]  However, in March 2020, the World Bank approved a US$500 million loan for Tanzania’s Secondary Education Quality Improvement Program (SEQUIP), which includes “alternative education pathways” for pregnant students and adolescent mothers to study in non-formal education settings, and maintains the expulsion of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers from public schools. Tanzania’s ban remains in place.[52]

We encourage the Committee to ask the government:

  • To outline steps it has taken to end the expulsion of girls from schools, and adopt a national policy to ensure pregnant students and adolescent mothers are able to study in public schools, alongside other students.
  • What steps is Tanzania taking to eliminate stigma, discrimination and exclusion against pregnant girls and adolescent mothers, including in schools?
  • How many pregnant students and adolescent mothers have accessed “alternative education pathways” since this program was rolled out?
  • What legal, policy and practical measures is the government taking to end child marriage?

Corporal Punishment and Humiliating Treatment in Schools (Articles 7, 24)

Human Rights Watch found that the use of corporal punishment is a routine, and sometimes brutal, part of many students’ everyday reality in Tanzanian schools. School officials and teachers frequently resort to corporal punishment and humiliating practices to manage large classrooms. Tanzania has national regulations on corporal punishment, including guidance on the use of caning in schools.[53] The regulations permit corporal punishment for “serious breaches of school discipline,” and “grave offences committed…inside or outside the school…deemed by the school authority to have brought or [sic] capable of bringing the school into disrepute.”[54]

Secondary school students and teachers who spoke with Human Rights Watch said that in their schools, children are routinely beaten with bamboo or wooden sticks, which are often visible in class. In some cases, students reported being beaten by teachers using their hands or other objects. Girls reported being hit on the breasts, buttocks, and reported suffering additional humiliation when beaten while menstruating. Female and male teachers reportedly hit students irrespective of their gender or disability. According to some students, teachers also resort to humiliating practices or scathing personal insults.[55]

In August 2019, the President’s Office for Regional Administration and Local Government banned teachers in the lower grades of primary school from entering classrooms with canes.[56] At time of writing, the government had not taken further steps to ban corporal punishment in schools.[57]

We encourage the Committee to ask the government:

  • What steps has the government taken towards officially banning corporal punishment in schools, and other environments?
  • What measures are in place to hold teachers, school and government officials accountable for perpetrating violence against students, including humiliating and degrading treatment?
  • What teacher training is in place to train teachers on non-violent classroom management and positive discipline pedagogies?

[1] “Police arrest 2 Chadema key leaders,” The Citizen, August 27, 2016. (accessed July 21, 2019).

[2] Human Rights Watch, World Report, “Tanzania and Zanzibar,” January 2019,

[3] “Tanzanian MP arrested for insulting 'problematic' Magufuli,” Daily Monitor, July 5, 2017, (accessed June 19, 2019).

[4] Iddy Mwema, “Police Query Zitto Over Issuing 'False Statistics',” Daily News (Dar es Salaam), November 1, 2017, (accessed September 3, 2019).

[5] “Six Tanzanian opposition leaders charged with sedition,” Reuters, March 28, 2018, (accessed August 30, 2019).

[6] The Political Parties (Amendment) Act, 2019,; Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala, “Tanzania MPs grant government sweeping powers over political parties,” Reuters, January 30, 2019,

[7] UN Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 34, September 12, 2011,

[8] Committee to Protect Journalists, “East African court rules that Tanzania's Media Services Act violates press freedom,” March 28, 2019,

[9] The Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2018, March 16, 2018,,%202018, art. 18.

[10] The Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2020, July 17, 2020,,%202020, art. 4(2).

[11] “Tanzania Authorities Cite Bias in Banning of Major English Newspaper. Suspension of The Citizen Latest in Series of Attacks on Freedom of Expression,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 6, 2019, 

[12] Zaheena Rashid, “Tanzania Daima ban adds to press freedom concerns,” Al Jazeera, October 26, 2017, (accessed June 19, 2019).

[14] Media Council of Tanzania, “2015 PRESS FREEDOM VIOLATIONS REPORT,” 2016, (accessed June 19, 2019).

[15] Hellen Nachilongo, “5 TV stations incur TCRA wrath,” The Citizen, January 2, 2018,

[16]Asna Kaniki, “Poll flaws bad precedent for future elections, says LHRC,” The Citizen, December 1, 2017,

[17] “Co-founder of Tanzania whistleblowing website charged,” December 16, 2016, Associated Press,

[18]Ashnah Kalemera, “Tanzanian Court Acquits Jamii Forums Founders on One of Three Charges” CIPESA, June 7, 2018, (accessed June 19, 2019).

[19] “Jamii Forums founder Maxence Melo convicted on obstruction charge, released in Tanzania,” Committee to Protect Journalists, November 19, 2020,

[20] Human Rights Watch interview, September 11, 2018; “Opposition MP Matiko held for ‘unlawful assembly’ in Tarime,” IPP Media, August 10, 2018,

[21] “Tanzania bus crash: Dozens of pupils killed in Arusha,” Al Jazeera, May 7, 2017,

[22] “Journos arrested en masse in Arusha; Police later appear regretful,” IPP Media, May 19, 2017,

[23] “These are the journalists arrested at Lucky Vincent,” The Citizen, May 18, 2017,

[24] Human Rights Watch interview, Arusha, February 5, 2019.

[25]  “Tanzanian journalist abducted, beaten for Zanzibar election coverage,” Committee to Protect Journalists, March 22, 2016,


[26] Legal and Human Rights Centre, “Human Rights Situation Report.

January – June 2018,”34, August, 2018,

[27] Bakari Kiongo, “Tanzania Home Affairs Minister Says Govt Not Involved with Finding Mwananchi Reporter,” All Africa, July 6, 2018,

[28] “Where is Azory,” Committee to Protect Journalists,

[29] United Nations Human Rights Committee, CCPR/C/TZA/CO/4, August 6, 2009,, para 24.

[30] Wendy Isaack, “Facing Prosecution for Challenging HIV Policies in Tanzania,” Human Rights Watch, October 20, 2017,

[31] Human Rights Watch interview with Sibongile Ndashe, executive director of ISLA, Cape Town, July 8, 2019.

[32] Human Rights Watch telephone interviews and email communications, October 2017.

[33] “Bibiana Mushi acquitted,” Front Line Defenders, November 2, 2017,

[34] Human Rights Watch, “If We Don’t Get Services, We Will Die”: Tanzania’s Anti-LGBT Crackdown and the Right to Health, February 3, 2020,; Human Rights Watch, “Treat Us Like Human Beings”: Discrimination against Sex Workers, Sexual and Gender Minorities, and People Who Use Drugs in Tanzania, June 18, 2013,

[35] “Hamad Masauni: Waziri ataka wapenzi wa jinsia moja kukamatwa Zanzibar,” BBC News Online, September 20, 2019,; KTV TZ Online, “‘POLISI KAMATENI WANAOJIHUSISHA NA USHOGA ZANZIBAR’ – MASAUNI,” posted September 21, 2019, video clip, YouTube,

[36] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with a victim of a forced anal exam, April 27, 2017.

[37] Human Rights Watch, “Ban Forced Anal Exams Around the World,” July 12, 2016,

[38] The United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, “Statement by the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children. Hon. Ummy Mwalimu on Key Population HIV Services in Tanzania, 27th October, 2016.” On file with Human Rights Watch; also available at

[39] The statement was posted on Mwalimu’s personal Facebook page at and was accessed by Human Rights Watch on repeated occasions in July and August 2016. It is no longer available to the public. A screenshot of the post is on file with Human Rights Watch.

[40] Amy Fallon, “People With HIV Are Panicking Due To Tanzania's Crackdown On Gays,” NPR, March 5, 2017,

[41] Human Rights Watch, “If We Don’t Get Services, We Will Die”: Tanzania’s Anti-LGBT Crackdown and the Right to Health, February 3, 2020,

[42] “World Bank Statement on Lifting the Suspension of Missions to Tanzania,” World Bank news release,

[43] Human Rights Watch, “I Had a Dream to Finish School”: Barriers to Secondary Education in Tanzania, February 2017,

[44] Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Education (Expulsion and Exclusion of Pupils from Schools) Regulations, art.4 (b)-(c).

[45] United Nations Population Fund, World Population Dashboard, United Republic of Tanzania, undated, (accessed February 10, 2021).

[46] Center for Reproductive Rights, “Center for Reproductive Rights and the Legal and Human Rights Centre file a complaint challenging the expulsion and exclusion of pregnant school girls in Tanzania,” June 17, 2019, World Bank, “Factsheet: Tanzania Secondary Education Quality Improvement Program (SEQUIP),” March 21, 2020, (accessed February 3, 2021).

[47] Mary Sanyiwa, “District Commissioner orders arrest of 55 pregnant schoolgirls,” The Citizen, December 27, 2017, (accessed February 10, 2020). Africa News, “Tanzania arrests pregnant schoolgirls, hunting for men responsible,” January 8, 2018,

[48] Human Rights Watch unofficial translation of statement by Patrobas Katambi, Dodoma District Commissioner, on February 29, 2020. Transcript on file with Human Rights Watch.

[49] The joint letter of appeal was originally posted at and at It is currently unavailable at either link, but a screenshot of the ACHPR statement announcing the letter can be viewed at

[50] Syriacus Buguzi, “World Bank stance on loan release to Tanzania,” The Citizen, November 19, 2018,

[51] Nuzulack Dausen, “World Bank re-engages Tanzania on scrapped education plan,” Reuters, November 18, 2018,

[52] See Human Rights Watch, Tanzania: Q & A on Ban on Pregnant Girls and World Bank Education Loan, April 24, 2020,

[53] Pursuant to article 60, National Education Act of 1978, Education (Corporal Punishment) Regulations, G.N. No. 294 2002. Copy on file with Human Rights Watch.

[54] Education (Corporal Punishment) Regulations, reg. 3 (1).

[55] Human Rights Watch, “I Had a Dream to Finish School,” pp. 60 – 63.

[56] Ofisi Ya Rais Tawala Za Mikoa na Serikali za Mitaa (Tamisemi), Official announcement on Facebook page, August 2, 2019. Copies of the announcement on file with Human Rights Watch.

[57] See Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment of Children, “Country Report for the United Republic of Tanzania,” March 2020,

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