Tanzanian radio journalist Silas Mbise is beaten brutally by police at the football match between local team Simba and Ghana’s Asante Kotoko at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. (Photo: Twitter/Francis Gaitho)
The disturbing images of our Tanzanian colleague Silas Mbise, savagely beaten by policemen in the football stadium of Der as Salaam, have reminded us of other images of disrespect for basic human rights of journalists, who are doing no more than intending to pursue their profession by following ethical principles. AIPS stands with the Tanzania Sport Writers Association, which has immediately, and rightly so, decided to take legal action against the police officers, who have savagely beaten Mr. Mbise.
The number of attacks on journalists are increasing around the world, because those who hold political power do not want press freedom, and instead want to suffocate all criticism. AIPS, and the international body of sports press does not accept this form of action, and will always fight to defend freedom of expression.
Below is the communication AIPS received from the Tanzania Sport Writers Association.
Gianni Merlo, AIPS President
The Tanzania Sport Writers Association is writing to bring to your attention the assault in which Wapo Radio journalist, Silas Mbise faced following the international friendly match between Simba and Ghana’s Asante Kotoko match on August 8, 2018 at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The incident occurred after the match staged to commemorate the famous Simba Day Festival that ended in a 1-1 draw.
After the match, as normal routine, journalists head to the press room specifically to get post-match interviews with coaches and captains of each team. Shockingly, policemen blocked the journalists from doing their work and after exchanging few words, police decided to rough up the above mentioned journalist, injuring him seriously. The assaulted journalist is presently undergoing medical treatment.
The Tanzania Sports Writers Association (TASWA) had consulted the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) and the Legal and Human Right Centre (LHRC) and jointly condemned the incident and demanded proper action(s) taken against all those involved in the barbaric act.
We jointly agreed to take legal actions against the police officers involved in the incident, but we also called for cooperation from the police force, as far as rule of law is concerned.
It is disrespectful toward journalists and the journalistic profession and it is the kind of incident that intimidates individuals from fulfilling their duties to disseminating information to the public hence development.