The following press release was distributed to media today:
Ahead of the return of opposition leader Tundu Lissu to Tanzania scheduled for tomorrow, the Tanzanian Police have circulated a statement to media warning citizens not to attend the homecoming at the Dar es Salaam airport.
Based on the pretext of the mourning period for the recent passing of former President Benjamin Mkapa, the police statement, which was issued on 25 July, warns that no other public gatherings are to be allowed, with the implication that media should similarly not give coverage.
“This kind of brazen interference and attempt at censure of Mr. Lissu’s rights is exactly the sort of conduct one might expect from the intolerant authoritarian regime of President John Magufuli,” says Amsterdam. “It is not only an insult to the proud memory of Former President Mkapa, but also an insult to all Tanzanians who know that the government has no business telling people who can go to the airport to welcome home friends and family.”
In 2017, Tundu Lissu narrowly survived an assassination attempt in which he was shot 16 times. After a long recovery abroad, on Monday he is returning home to contest in the upcoming presidential elections.
Robert Amsterdam has previously written an open letter to Tanzanian authorities along with international bodies to express his concerns for his client’s safety.
The full text of the open letter can be read on https://robertamsterdam.com/tundu-lissu.
Amsterdam & Partners LLP is an international law firm engaged in matters and representations globally and throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The firm has represented clients such as the opposition Ugandan Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), the former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda, and the Republic of Turkey, among other clients. More information can be found at amsterdamandpartners.com.