Tanzania Journalist Eric Kabendera Receives Medical Care

Freelance journalist Eric Kabendera told a court on Wednesday that he was allowed to seek medical attention, although he was still in pain.

Kabendera told the Kisutu Magistrate's Court that he was taken to Amana Hospital on Tuesday, where medics took and an X-ray of his spine and drew blood samples for tests.

Kabendera, who was still having difficulty walking, told court that the pain in one of his legs has made walking difficult.

Last week, he was seen limping as he was taken to court and his lawyers asked the court to allow him to go to a government hospital for treatment.

Kabendera, a freelance journalist who writes for various local and international publications including The EastAfrican, was arrested on July 29, 2019 and police said he had been detained over issues concerning his citizenship. But when he was taken to court on August 5, he was charged with money laundering, tax evasion and leading a criminal racket.

When his case appeared for mention Wednesday, the prosecution said investigations into the case were yet to be completed.

The next mention of the case is scheduled for October 1.

The journalist is being held at the Segerea prison, a maximum security facility on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. Most of Tanzania's prisons are overcrowded, resulting in poor conditions for inmates, rights groups say.

Rights groups say press freedom in Tanzania has drastically deteriorated since the election in 2015 of President John Magufuli, whose administration has suspended some newspapers, arrested opposition leaders and restricted political rallies. The government has rejected the criticism.

- Additional reporting by The EastAfrican

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