Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani
Date: 27 October 2020
We have been following with concern the shrinking of democratic space in the country, with worrying reports of intimidation, harassment, arbitrary arrests and physical attacks against political opponents, journalists, women human rights defenders and other activists.
This repression of dissenting voices intensified in the lead up to the elections, when the rights to freedom of expression and political participation should be upheld, not repressed. The elections take place tomorrow.
We are particularly alarmed by reports that three people were reportedly killed last night and others injured on Pemba Island in the Zanzibar archipelago where police fired live ammunition in clashes with opposition supporters. We urge the authorities to ensure prompt, transparent, independent investigations into the incident and urge all actors to refrain from any acts of violence.
We call on all relevant actors to ensure that the elections take place in a peaceful, inclusive and participatory manner, with people being able to cast their votes free of fear and intimidation.