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Chairman of Tanzania Editors Forum attacked outside home

UPDATE: Attacked journalist loses his eye, is visited in hospital by President Kikwete (MISA, 11 March 2013)

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - ARTICLE 19 is deeply concern about escalating levels of violence against journalists in Tanzania, following a brutal attack on the Chairman of the Tanzania Editors Forum, Absalom Kibanda.

The Secretary General of the forum, Meena Neville has confirmed to ARTICLE 19 that Kibanda was attacked at the gate of his home at around 01:00hrs.

“He was rushed to Mubimbili National Hospital in Dar-Es-Salaam, where he is receiving treatment, but we are working together with his employers to have him transferred to South Africa due the seriousness of the injuries he sustained, especially those to the head” Meena Neville said.

Kibanda is also the Managing Editor of Tanzania Daima, a Swahili daily newspaper. It is thought that the attack is related to Kibanda's work as a journalist. Nothing was taken from his car.

"They probably just want to silence him through torture and intimidation” Meena added.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the government to investigate all cases of attacks against journalists and for those who are responsible to be held accountable.

“There has been a clear increase in attacks against journalists in Tanzania in the last 5 months, following on from the death of the journalist Daudi Mwangonsi. The government has not shown any sort of commitment to addressing the issue. Serious investigations should be launched into these attacks as a matter of urgency” said Henry Maina, Director ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.

The authorities in Tanzania must respect and promote freedom of expression. ARTICLE 19 urges the government to pass legislation which will create greater protection for journalists exercising their right to free speech, including the Media Bill.

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