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Rep. Bass Statement on the Arrest of Tanzanian Opposition Leader and Party Members

July 22, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement:

“I am concerned to hear about the arrest of Tanzanian opposition leader, Freeman Mbowe and 11 other party officials and staff of Part of Democracy and Progress. The Tanzanian authorities must end the escalating crackdown on opposition parties and leaders, and the arbitrary arrests and detentions show the disregard for the rule of law, human rights, and the rights to freedom of expression and association. Those arrested have not been charged with any criminal offense. I encourage the safe return of Mr. Mbowe – who at present is still unaccounted for. The unexpected death of Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, was a true shock to us all. But the appointment of his vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, looked to be on a different path for leading Tanzania forward to a more democratic society. Unfortunately, the arrest of Mr. Mbowe and other opposition leaders has minimized any such hope.”