23 November 2018

Tanzania: No Trace of Missing Journalist

Dar — MEDIA rights groups have appealed to Tanzanian authorities to ascertain the fate of a journalist who has not been seen a year after his disappearance.

Freelance journalist, Azory Gwanda, disappeared this time last year after he left his farm in a vehicle with unidentified men in the Coast region.

It is feared state security agents are behind his disappearance.

Authorities have not provided substantive updates despite initially promising to investigate Gwanda's disappearance. Officials claimed he ran off because of family problems.

"The lack of a credible investigation into the disappearance of journalist Azory Gwanda is deeply disappointing, and reflective of our broader concerns about press freedom conditions in Tanzania," said Angela Quintal, Africa programme coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Quintal was arrested earlier this month alongside a colleague following their visit to Tanzania to assess challenges journalists faced in the East African country.

State agents invaded their hotel, took them to a secret location and interrogated them for several hours, after accusing them of not having appropriate visas.

Rights groups accuse the government of hostility to media since President John Magufuli assumed power in 2015.

Several newspapers critical of his administration have been shut down.

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