The United Republic of Tanzania is a multiparty republic consisting of the mainland region and the semiautonomous Zanzibar archipelago, whose main islands are Unguja (Zanzibar Island) and Pemba. The union is headed by a president, who is also the head of government. Its unicameral legislative body is the National Assembly (parliament). Zanzibar, although part of the union, exercises considerable autonomy and has its own government with a president, court system, and legislature. In 2020 the country held its sixth multiparty general election, resulting in the reelection of the union president, John Magufuli, with 85 percent of the vote, and the election of Hussein Mwinyi, with 76 percent of the vote for his first term as president of Zanzibar. International observers noted widespread irregularities and largely categorized the election as neither free nor fair. In March 2021, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the country’s first woman president following the death of President Magufuli.
Under the union’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the Tanzania Police Force has primary responsibility for maintaining law and order. The Field Force Unit, a special police division, has primary responsibility for controlling unlawful demonstrations and riots. The Tanzania People’s Defence Forces include the army, navy, air force, and National Services. The defense forces also have some domestic security responsibilities and report to the Ministry of Defence and National Service. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. There were reports that members of domestic security forces committed numerous abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government or on behalf of the government; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detention; political prisoners or detainees; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists,

censorship, and enforcement of criminal libel laws; serious restrictions on internet freedom; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws on the organization, funding, or operations of nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations; refoulement of refugees to a country where they would face a threat to their life or freedom or other mistreatment of refugees that would constitute a separate human rights abuse; inability of citizens to change their government peacefully through free and fair elections; serious and unreasonable restrictions on political participation; serious government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence, including domestic or intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child, early, and forced marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, and other forms of such violence; sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities, members of national/racial/ethnic minorities, or Indigenous people; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex persons; and existence and enforcement of laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults.

In some cases the government took steps to investigate and prosecute officials who committed human rights abuses or were involved in corruption, but impunity in police and other security forces and civilian branches of government was widespread.
There were isolated reports of abuses by peacekeepers and authorities took steps to identify and investigate officials who committed alleged abuses.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person
a.Arbitrary Deprivation of Life and Other Unlawful or PoliticallyMotivated Killings
There were several reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, most often at the hands of police or prison guards. The Tanzania Police Force was primarily responsible for investigating whether security force killings were justifiable and pursuing prosecutions. Members of marginalized racial and ethnic communities were not disproportionately impacted or overrepresented among victims of abuse.

In January a businessman and resident of Mtwara region, Mussa Hamisi, was allegedly beaten to death by police officers after they seized more than 33 million Tanzanian shillings ($14,300) from him. Following an investigation, seven police officers, who were allegedly involved, were arrested, court martialed, terminated from the police force, and arraigned in Mtwara Residents’ Magistrate Court pending prosecution. The implicated former officers were Superintendent of Police Gilbert Kalanje, Officer Commanding Criminal Investigation Department in the Mtwara Police District, two of his subordinate investigators Inspector John Msuya Mganga and Inspector Shirazi Mkupa, Assistant Superintendent of Police Charles Onyango, Officer Commanding Station in the Mtwara Police District, Assistant Superintendent of Police Nicholaus Kisinza, Assistant Inspector Marco Mbuta, the head of the Mtwara Police Medical Unit, and his subordinate Corporal Salimu Juma Mbalu (see also section 1.g., Conflict-related Abuses, Killings).
In contrast with 2021, there were no reports of disappearances by or on behalf of government authorities.
c.Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment orPunishment, and Other Related Abuses
The constitution prohibits such practices; however, the law does not reflect this constitutional restriction nor define torture. There were reports that police officers, prison guards, and soldiers abused, threatened, or otherwise mistreated civilians, suspected criminals, and prisoners. These abuses often involved beatings. In June, Acting Regional Police Commander Mairi Mikori confirmed that Mwanza police detained one of its officers for allegedly brutally beating a student at Saint Augustine University. On May 16, Warren Lyimo was arrested by police after being accused of stealing a laptop from a family member. Police transferred Lyimo to Buhongwa police station where he was allegedly beaten and later admitted to Bugando Zonal Referral Hospital intensive care unit with severe injuries. Mikori said an investigation was ongoing. The law allows caning. Local government officials and courts occasionally used caning as a punishment for both juvenile and adult offenders. Caning and other corporal punishments were also used routinely in schools (see also section 1.g., Conflict-related Abuses, Physical Abuse, Punishment, and Torture).

Leave a Reply