Once again Tanzania occupies only a very small part of the latest Amnesty International Annual Report. The following notes cover the main elements of the report.
Three prisoners of conscience continued to be restricted to remote areas of Tanzania – two to Mafia island – to which they had been banished in 1987. Two had been detained without trial in October 1986 after they had circulated a petition calling for Tanzania to become a multi-party state; (the deportation order on one of the two has now been cancelled); the third, Mr Joseph Kasella Bantu, a former senior government official, had returned to Tanzania from exile in March 1987 after receiving official assurances of his safety, only to be placed under house arrest. In March 1988 the house arrest was lifted but he continued to be restricted to Njombe district.
In June 1988 a person from Pemba was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for tearing up a photograph of former President Nyerere. In May 1988 a correspondent for the BBC was arrested after he had reported that police had shot dead two Muslim demonstrators in Zanzibar. A Government Commission of Enquiry into the killings had reported by the end of 1988 but its findings had not been made public.
Twenty three people arrested after the Zanzibar demonstrations were on bail facing criminal charges at the end of the year.
Although four persons were sentenced to death after conviction for murder in Tanzania in 1988 no executions were reported – Editor.