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Police raid independent weekly's offices and editor's home

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns raids by the police on "Mwanahalisi", a weekly based in Dar es Salaam, and the home of its editor, Saeed Kubenea, on 18 July 2008. The head of the criminal investigation department said the raids came in response to a complaint by the National Bank of Commerce about the publication of bank data of some of its clients.

"This police intrusion into the offices of an independent newspaper is disturbing and surprising in a country where the press normally enjoys real freedom," Reporters Without Borders said. "To respect media freedom and independence, the Tanzanian police and judicial authorities must guarantee freedom of information and the confidentiality of journalists' sources."

Four uniformed police inspectors arrived with a warrant at the offices of "Mwanahalisi" at 3 p.m. (local time) on 18 July, seized a computer and questioned Kubenea. They then carried out a search of his home.

Acid was thrown at Kubenea and "Mwanahalisi" deputy editor Ndimara Tegambwage in January by two men who forced their way into the newspaper's premises. Two suspects were arrested but the police are still investigating the attack.

For further information on the January 2008 attack on Kubenea and Tegambwage, see:

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