12 September 2017

Tanzania: Rights Body Commends Magufuli's Stance On Death Sentence

The Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC) has today, September 12, commended President John Magufuli's stance on the execution of a death sentence.

During the Swearing in of the Chief Justice (CJ) Prof Ibrahim Juma at State House on Monday September 11, President Magufuli said he is not going to sign any death penalty certificate.

The LHRC Executive Director, Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba, said the Head of State's statement was encouraging, however, he should influence changes of the law to abolish the punishment or provide lighter ones.

"The third and fourth phase president's position on death sentence was known in spite of the fact that they didn't declare publicly. President Magufuli has publicly declared his position, but he should go beyond that," she said adding:

"The Head of State should influence changes to relieve judges and magistrates with difficulties they at the time of making rulings."

Meanwhile, LHRC has condemned assassination attempt against Singida East MP on Chadema ticket Tundu Lissu.

Dr Bisimba said Mr Lissu's attack has raised concern on the country's security. The rights group has recorded a total of 37 peace threatening incidents since 2015.

Therefore, she suggested that an independent commission of inquiry should be formed by the Parliament and international organs to comprehensively investigate the matter.

"Also, people implicated in previous attacks should be arrested and prosecuted. The legal profession should be left to freely fulfill its duties and that clerics should condemn attacks with all efforts," she said.

Mr Lissu who is also the President of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) and Opposition Chief Whip is now admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi Kenya where he was referred after surviving gunshots.

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