10 July 2014

Tanzania: Bomb Blast Suspects 'In Police Hands'

Zanzibar — FAMILY members of the eleven people linked to the recent bomb blasts in Zanzibar have reacted angrily to the police about locking the suspects up at a secret location for days without charging them in Court.

"If Tanzania boasts of being a country of rule of law, then why keep suspects for days contrary even to the land laws," lamented Juma Makame, from a group of relatives who visited media offices at Welesi, Kikwajuni to complain.

Ms Salha Ahmed, the wife of Nassor Hamad, a suspect said, it is almost a month now since her husband and other people were arrested in Zanzibar after the June 13, 2014 blast near Darajani Mosque.

The blast killed one Muslim cleric and injured seven others. The blast received wide condemnation from religious leaders and politicians including President Jakaya Kikwete who ordered a massive manhunt for the perpetrators tarnishing Tanzania's image.

Similar fatal blasts have taken place in Arusha where several people, in different locations have died and others injured, as detectives search for suspects and motives behinds the blasts.

"We believe our arrested relatives are innocent, and if they have any problem let the state charge them. We also need to communicate with them to confirm reports that they got tortured by security officers after their arrest," family members complained.

According to family members in Zanzibar, in the list of suspects being held in a secret location include: Nassor Hamad Abdalla, Said Amour Salum; Salum Kassim; Hassan Bakar; Said Kassim, Salum Ali Salum; Khamis Salum Amour; Juma Sadala; Mohammed Ishaq; Rashid Ali; and Antar Humud.

One suspect named Hussein Bakar is on police bail and is required to report to the police Dar es Salaam once in a week. In his response to the complaints, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Yussuf Ilembo who is responsible for Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Zanzibar confirmed that the arrest of the suspects, saying the exercise started almost a week after the blast.

"All the 11 suspects of Zanzibar bomb blast last month, are in the safe hands of the police in Dar es Salaam. All those arrested for having links with Zanzibar and Arusha Bombs blasts are being interrogated in Dar es Salaam," Ilembo informed journalists in Zanzibar declining to give details including names of the suspects.

Ilembo asked relatives of the suspects to be patient and to collaborate with detectives in the course of investigations. "We want to wipe out thugs terrorizing people and trying to destabilize our country, and it's only through concerted efforts that we can win," he said.

He said that the hunt for more suspects including those behind acid attacks continues with hope of finding and arresting and punishing them through legal procedures.


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