29 January 2013

Tanzania: Seek Redress in Court, Victims of Police Brutality Urged

Photo: Tanzania Daily News
Aftermath (file photo): Religious leaders attacked in zanzibar.

Zanzibar — VICTIMS of police's last October crackdown of Uamsho Islamic group members in Zanzibar Stone Town should seek redress in courts of law, the Minister of State (Police operations), Mr Mohamed Aboud Mohammed said.

"Any person who was hurt during the operation, including loss of properties, should go to court," said Mohammed when answering questions from some legislators who complained against use of excessive force and misconduct by some police officers.

Lawmakers such as Mr Saleh Nassor Juma (CUF Wawi) had complained that, during the operation, some police officers unreasonably beat-up people and grabbed their properties. He asked whether "the police were above-the-law and allowed to beat up people."

Zanzibar's October unrest was sparked by clashes between police and the Uamsho Islamic group, following the disappearance of the group's leader, Sheikh Farid Hadi Ahmed, who later claimed that he had been kidnapped by people alleged to be police officers.

The minister said that police are not allowed to be brutal in any operation and said that it was unfortunate that some people were injured during the clean-up of Uamsho followers from the streets.

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