The authorities in Tanzania must launch an immediate investigation into
the incident in which a prominent journalist, Daudi Mwangosi, was killed on
Sunday while covering an opposition political rally in a village of the Iringa region, south of the country. The
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) made the call amid reports that the
journalist was assaulted by police officers and later struck by a tear gas as
police charged protesters.
“We are deeply shocked by this killing which robs a family and the
profession of a decent man and a courageous journalist,” said Beth Costa, IFJ
General Secretary. “The circumstances surrounding his death indicate that foul
play by Police should not be ruled out. That is why we urge the authorities to
leave no stone unturned in finding out why yet again a journalist had to lose
his life doing his work.”
According to the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA), an IFJ
affiliate, Daudi Mwangosi, who worked for Channel
Ten as a TV reporter, died after being struck by a tear gas as police
dispersed a crowd at a rally staged by an opposition political party, Chadema cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Party for Democracy and Progress) which was launching its new office.
Violence erupted after police asked people to disperse because rallies
and demonstrations had been “banned”. Police reportedly started to use tear
gas, one of which hit the Channel Ten journalist in the stomach as he was about 100 meters from the new Chadema office. He died on the spot, EAJA reported.
Eyewitnesses also said that the journalist was set upon by police
officers after he challenged them over the arrest of a fellow reporter at the
rally, according to local sources quoted by media. One photograph taken at the
rally and seen by the IFJ shows officers surrounding, their batons drawn,
Mwangosi who was on the ground.
The International Federation of Journalists says the role of the police
in this incident has to be investigated and has called on the Tanzanian
Government to rapidly put in place an independent commission of inquiry into
the death of Daudi Mwangosi to ensure that justice is done to Mwangosi.
“The journalist fraternity can no longer accept the killing of
journalists with impunity, most especially from the reckless action of security
officers whose responsibility is to protect life and property,” added Gabriel
Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa office. “The safety and security of
journalists must be seen as a top priority of governments and the Tanzanian
authorities can expect a relentless campaign to ensure no one is shielded from
accountability for our colleague’s killing.”
Mwangosi is the ninth media worker to be killed in this year in Eastern
Africa following eight media killings in Somalia.
For more information, please
contact IFJ on +221- 33 867 95 87
IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries