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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Tanzania
May 9, 2016

UPR 25th Session, Geneva, May 9, 2016
As delivered by Eric Richardson

The United States welcomes the Tanzanian delegation.

The United States is deeply concerned by the decision of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission to annul the October 25 election, which halted an orderly and peaceful process, and then to hold a rerun that was neither inclusive nor representative.

We are also concerned that authorities have used the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 to arrest individuals for activities protected by the right to freedom of expression.

Use of excessive force by the security service, gender-based violence, and trafficking in persons are also problematic.  Violence against persons with albinism continues, although some efforts have been taken to improve respect for their rights.  Existing media laws limit freedom of expression.

We recommend that the Government of Tanzania:

  1. Respect and guarantee the universal right of its citizens in Zanzibar to elect their government through genuinely free and fair elections.
  1. Ensure that the legal framework and enforcement of laws, including the Cybercrimes Act and other laws affecting members of the media, are fully consistent with the human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in Tanzania’s Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  1. Fully investigate abuses against persons with albinism and ensure that those responsible for crimes are prosecuted.


(end statement)