The IFJ Condemns Police Shooting of Journalist in Tanzania


The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) today condemned the police shooting of a journalist in Tanzania.


“We vigorously condemn the shooting. It is a

terrible atrocity. No one, journalist or not should be subjected to cruel and

inhuman treatment by the police. Justifying their attacks on the basis of

suspicions is not how the police should handle criminal matters,” said Gabriel

Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.


Independent sources from Tanzania reported that

police on December 4, shot journalist Shabani Matutu at his house in Dar-es-Salaam,

the capital.


According to accounts by the journalist the door

to his house was forced open by uniformed police men at 10 pm.  Matutu was in bed sleeping and before he had

a chance to respond to the purpose of the visit the police pushed him to the

floor and started shooting at him.


“Me and my wife, who had gone to bed, heard

footsteps outside our house at around 10 pm and before I knew it, the police

had forced open our front door.  I had no

time to ask for an explanation as to the purpose of the visit before I was shot”,

Matutu reported to the Tanzania Chapter of the Media Institute of southern

Africa (MISA-Tanzania) who visited him on the day he was discharged from the

hospital on December 6.


The police  confirmed the shooting and claimed the

shooting was accidental and that they had no intention of shooting the

journalist. The regional police commander stressed that the police had no intention

of shooting at Matutu and the police men did not know his identity or that he

was a journalist.  The police also justified

 the incident by claiming that they had

to respond to an emergency call and therefore had to send a search patrol to

the area. 


“The fact that this is the second shooting in

four months where journalists are attacked unprovoked, demonstrates the unwillingness

of the authorities to investigate the motives of the attacks in order to end

impunity and protect the safety of journalists and freedom of expression. These

incidents clearly undermine freedom of expression and the image of the country.

We urgethe government of Tanzania to take sufficient measures to ensure the

safety of journalists and investigate the motives of the attacks,” Baglo added.


The journalist Daudi Mwangosi was killed by the

police in September showing the fatal outcome of the animosity of the Police

against the media workers  in




For more information, please contact IFJ:  +221

33 867 95 86

The IFJ represents over 600.000 journalists in 134