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Tanzania: Arrest of journalist Erick Kabendera 'an assault on press freedom'

Erick Kabendera

Amnesty International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera, who has been arrested and detained.

Kabendera was taken from his home in Dar es Salaam yesterday by six men in plainclothes without explanation, according to family sources. Earlier today, police announced he was being held in relation to his citizenship.

Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, said:

“The arrest of Erick Kabendera is an assault on press freedom and further underlines the rising repression of journalists and perceived government critics in Tanzania, where people have been killed, physically assaulted, threatened, harassed or abducted for expressing their views.

“It is outrageous for the police to arrest the journalist and hold him incommunicado for more than 24 hours, then claim they are querying his citizenship. Erick Kabendera must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Kabendera has worked for a number of British newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times and the i paper.

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