The following press release was distributed to media today.
Freeman Mbowe, a Tanzanian opposition politician and chairman of the Chadema party who was arrested in nighttime police raid this past July, will be represented by international lawyer Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, in coordination with local defense counsel.
The arrest of Mbowe and several others took place at approximately 2:30AM in a hotel in the northwestern port city of Mwanza the night before the Chadema chairman was going to host a public forum on constitutional reform, according to media reports. Mbowe was held in an undisclosed location beyond the reach of counsel for weeks and allegedly subjected to torture, before appearing in court for the first time on Friday, August 6, on trumped up charges of terrorism finance, says Amsterdam.
“We condemn the brazenly criminal conduct of the regime of President Samia Suluhu Hassan with these politically motivated charges against Mbowe,” says Amsterdam. “As we’ve already seen a judge recusal and direct comments by the President interfering in the case and tainting prospects of fair trial, it is abundantly clear to the international community that this is an authoritarian farce, not a judicial process.”
Amsterdam says that his firm will work closely with Mbowe’s local defense counsel, Mr Peter Kibatala and Mr. John Mallya, Esquire, to issue filings before a variety of international bodies. “We will ensure there are consequences for the Hassan regime for this egregious violation of Tanzania’s international commitments, while seeking accountability to all public servants who make themselves complicit in the government’s unlawful conduct,” says Amsterdam.
Amsterdam & Partners LLP also represents Tundu Lissu, the vice chairman of Chadema who competed in the 2020 presidential elections, among other opposition figures in the region such as Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) in Uganda. Amsterdam & Partners LLP is based in London and Washington DC. More information is available at https://amsterdamandpartners.com/.