2009 Human Rights Report: Tanzania

In July a Dar es Salaam family accused police of torturing and killing their relative, Rashidi Tuga, after arresting him at
his home. According to a postmortem report, the body had marks on the neck, and the head was swollen. The inspector
general of police appointed a seven-member team to investigate the killing. At year's end results of the investigation had
not been released.
The Tabora Senior State Attorney's investigation into the January 2008 beating to death of 16-year-old James Deus
while in police custody continued. The suspect remained in custody at year's end.
A total of 15 police offcers allegedly involved in the shooting deaths of three gemstone dealers and a taxi driver near
Dar es Salaam in 2006 were acquitted of murder charges in August due to lack of evidence.
A number of deaths resulted from mob violence, including by stoning, beating, hacking with machetes, and burning,
although these incidents continued to decline following a government outreach campaign and nongovernmental
organization (NGO) efforts. However, several mob killings of suspected thieves occurred.
For example, on January 9, a mob killed Musa Juma in the Arusha Region for trying to rob a house. The police
intervened but too late to save his life. At year's end there was no further information about the killing.
In April Robhi Getaraswa, the chairman of Kitagasembe village in Tarime, was beaten, burned, and killed by villagers for
stealing eight head of cattle. At year's end the police investigation was pending.
There were no further developments in other cases of mob violence in 2008 including: three persons stoned to death in
Rukwa Region; two thieves killed near Malangali; three persons burned to death for illegal fshing; and a man killed for
stealing two chickens.
The widespread belief in witchcraft and fear of witches led to the continued killing of alleged witches by persons claiming
to be victims of witchcraft, relatives of victims, or mobs.
For example, in August the Mwanza regional commissioner estimated that 60 elderly individuals were murdered in
Mwanza on suspicion of being witches during the year; 56 of the victims were women.
In March a mob killed a 70-year-old man in the Mpui village of Sumbawanga district for allegedly practicing witchcraft.
The mob, armed with clubs, arrows, and machetes, also injured nine persons, destroyed cattle, and burned down the
homes of persons they accused of harboring witches. At year's end there had been no arrests, but the police were
looking for fve men suspected of being the ring leaders.
Offcials condemned such killings. In June 2008 Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda condemned the killing of the elderly on
suspicions of witchcraft and urged citizens to take their concerns to a court of law instead of using mob violence.
It was diffcult to prosecute persons accused of killing suspected witches due to lack of police resources and the
unwillingness of witnesses to come forward, but the government attempted to prosecute several such cases. In
September 2008 four persons were arrested for killing Nyabusa Nyanda, age 60, in Sengerema district, Mwanza
Region, after accusing her of being a witch. The case remained pending and the suspects remained in custody at year's
end.
Violence continued against persons with albinism in the belief that their body parts could create power and wealth.
There have been approximately 50 murders since 2007, with four in the month of July of this year alone. NGOs believed
that attacks against persons with albinism may be underreported due to the involvement of family or close friends.
In January President Kikwete told a rally organized by the Tanzania Albino Society that his administration would protect
persons with albinism and would not tolerate attacks against them. In April 2008 the president appointed a person with
albinism--Al-Shaymaa Kwegyr--to parliament to oversee efforts to defend the rights of persons with albinism.
Prime Minister Pinda revoked the licenses of witchdoctors and traditional healers during the year to put an end to the
killing of persons with albinism. The announcement received the support of some traditional healers in Manyara Region,
who admitted publicly that their colleagues were encouraging the ritual killings.
In March the government asked residents in regions where albino killings were concentrated to name the perpetrators in
secret polls. The results of these polls were not released. However, by September there were an estimated 90 persons

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