Responding to yet another postponement of the trial of Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera today, the sixth since he was unfairly charged with money laundering and organized crime on 5 August, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Joan Nyanyuki said:
“These repeated delays are ludicrous and clearly show that the Tanzanian authorities are using the judicial system to target and harass Erick Kabendera yet they have no evidence against him.
“They first tried to charge him with citizenship offences, then tried sedition, before settling on the current set of equally trumped-up charges. They are grasping at straws and manipulating the judicial system to lengthen his arbitrary detention and prolong his suffering.
“The authorities must stop misusing the criminal justice system to target and harass Erick Kabendera. He must be released immediately and unconditionally as he is detained solely for peacefully exercising his human rights.”
Erick Kabendera today appeared in court limping in pain, only to have his case deferred for the sixth time, to 11 October, after the prosecution sought more time to complete investigations.
He was recently examined at a government hospital, but he reported to the court that he was still suffering pain in his back. While his lawyer has requested for specialized treatment, the prosecution has successfully objected to an independent medical examinatio