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Tanzania21 July 2008

Police raid independent weekly and editor’s home

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. The head of the criminal investigation department said they were in response to a complaint by the National Bank of Commerce about the publication of the 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 Mwanahalisi at 3 p.m. 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.

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