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Ensure Fair Trials, Support for Victims

Two members of Ansaroul Islam, an armed Islamist group in Burkina Faso, were recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2018 attack on a primary school. Victims of the attack welcomed the verdict, which provided some rare accountability for…
Young student's in a classroom
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Policing Sportswomen’s Bodies Undermines Rights of Women and Girls

This week, at a ceremony hosting the Tanzania men’s football team, President Samia Suluhu made remarks that cast aspersions on the “femininity” and gender of Tanzanian women footballers. Her comments have received widespread condemnation from women…
Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania on March 16, 2021. 
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Authorities Backsliding on Rights Reforms

On Wednesday morning, police in Mwanza, in northern Tanzania, surrounded the hotel occupied by members of the country’s main opposition party, Chadema, and arrested 11 party members, including the party chairman, Freeman Mbowe. While the other party…
Tanzania Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe (center) arrives at the party's headquarters after being released from Segerea prison in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 13, 2020.
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Governments Need to Match Commitments with Action

Earlier in July, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector pledged almost $40 billion at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris to fight gender inequality over the next five years. The aim is to accelerate progress on women’s and girls’…
A girl holds the hand of a boy in Agadez, Niger on October 9, 2018.
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President Suluhu Should Support Education of Pregnant Girls

Tanzania’s first woman president, Samia Suluhu, took office in March 2021. Her administration has the opportunity to call on education authorities to end the exclusion of pregnant and married girls from public schools. She should urge them to adopt a…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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More than 500 Civilians Killed by Armed Islamists in the Sahel Since Early 2021

Just after 2 a.m. on June 5, armed Islamist fighters stormed an artisanal gold mining site outside Solhan village in Burkina Faso’s northeastern Yagha province. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the attackers opened fire on everyone that moved,…
A man reads the L'Observateur Paalga newspaper in Ouagadougou on June 7, 2021, about the attacks that happened in Solhan. 
News

Tito Magoti and His Friend Arbitrarily Detained

This Sunday marks one year since police in Dar es Salaam arrested Tanzanian human rights activist Tito Magoti and his friend Theodory Giyani in violation of their basic rights. On December 20, 2019, police lured Magoti to a meeting through phone…
Tito Magoti and Theodory Giyani attend a court hearing in Dar es Salaam on December 24, 2019.
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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Latest in Restrictions on Political and Civil Rights

Tanzania’s parliament has fast-tracked a legal amendment that threatens to severely restrict the capacity of independent rights groups to challenge laws, practices, or policies they believe violate fundamental human rights. On June 10, Parliament…
View of the chamber of the National Parliament of Tanzania. 
News

Ruling Party Threatens Opposition Politician for Dissenting Views

Members of Tanzania’s ruling party have lashed out at a senior opposition politician, Zitto Kabwe, for his criticism of a controversial US$500 million World Bank education loan. On January 30, the World Bank board of…
Zitto Kabwe
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Rights Groups Urge UN, AU to Intervene on Behalf of Tito Magoti

  The United Nations and the African Union have been urged to intervene on behalf of Tito Magoti, a Tanzanian human rights activist, who was arrested on…
Tanzanian human rights activist Tito Magoti speaks during an event in Dodoma, Tanzania on November 6, 2019 © 2019 Sipa Michael Mallya
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Court of Appeal Upholds 2016 Ruling Barring Marriage Before 18

Girls and boys in Tanzania have cause to celebrate: child marriage is now illegal in the country. Tanzania’s Marriage Act of 1971 sets the minimum marriage age for girls at 15 with parental consent, and 18 for boys. It…
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Video Showing Caning of High School Students Reignites Debate

A few days ago, a video widely shared online showed a regional commander in southern Tanzania caning boys who were lying on the ground as punishment for burning down their dormitories after their mobile phones were confiscated. …
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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Amendment to Statistics Act a Step in Right Direction for Free Expression

Last week, Tanzania’s Parliament passed an amendment to its troubling Statistics Act, which removes a threat of prison for civil society groups that publish independent statistical information. The Statistics Act of 2015 made…
Part of the city of Dar es Salaam is seen from an airplane, in Tanzania
News

Government Should Ensure Pregnant Teens, Young Mothers go to School

Human rights groups are cranking up the pressure to get Tanzania’s government to quash its absurd and discriminatory ban on pregnant girls and teenage mothers attending school. This week, a Tanzanian human rights organization…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
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Nearly Two Years Later, #WhereIsAzory? Deserves an Answer

It has been more than 500 days since Azory Gwanda, a journalist for the privately-owned media company Mwananchi Communications, went missing under murky circumstances in Tanzania. The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling on the…
201904africa_tanzania_media_azorygwanda
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Suspension of The Citizen Latest in Series of Attacks on Freedom of Expression

Freedom of expression is under attack once again in Tanzania. Last Wednesday, government authorities notified editors of Tanzania’s major English language newspaper, The Citizen, that the paper would be suspended for seven…
201903africa_tanzania_freespeech_citizen
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The Church Should Reject Policies that Hinder Girls’ Access to Schools

Representatives of the Catholic church in Eastern Africa will meet in Addis Ababa later this week to discuss “vibrant diversity, equal dignity, and peaceful unity” in the region. A good place to start would be to change the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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65 Groups Urge President to Halt the Crackdown

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli took office in October 2015 promising to stamp out government corruption and to be accountable to ordinary citizens. Instead, in a country that had been considered a leader in the region on human…
Tanzania's President John Magufuli leaves after inspecting a guard of honour during his official visit to Nairobi, Kenya October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya