7 November 2012

Tanzania: 'Uamsho' Leaders Fail to Post Bail

SEVEN Muslim clerics in Zanzibar, charged with conspiracy to incitement, instigating and causing chaos on August 17, this year were on Wednesday granted bail by a district court as they complained of mistreatment in prison.

However, the accused remained in remand prison after failing to meet bail conditions which required them to deposit 1 million/-in cash each, three sureties who are civil servants who were also required to post the same amount of money each as bond.

Presiding Mwanakwerekwe District Court Magistrate Ame Msaraka Pinja, also demanded the accused to submit their travel documents or residence identity cards and identification letters from their respective community leaders (Shehas) before the court releases them on bail.

Defence counsels, Mr Salum Tawfiq and Mr Abdallah Juma said the bail conditions were difficult to meet by their clients and also complained to the magistrate that their clients' rights were being violated by prison warders.

"Our clients are still accused persons, unfortunately they have not been allowed to meet or communicate with their families, receive food from home and get access to information, and during the first days in remand prison they were made to sleep on the floor," they lamented.

Prosecutor Khamis Jaffar Kombo from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) told the court that abuse of people in remand prison is unacceptable, noting that he was not aware of the illtreatment of the accused by prison warders, noting that rights of every citizen must be respected.

The magistrate directed all warders and other officers to observe human rights including those of accused people in remand prison. Those brought before the court were Mselem Ali Mselem, 52, Farid Hadi Ahmed, 41, Mussa Juma Issa, 37, Azan Khalid Hamdani, 43, Suleiman Juma Suleiman, 66, Khamis Ali Suleiman, 59, and Hassan Bakari Suleiman, 39, and the case will come up for another mention on November 21, 2012.

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