The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) adds its voice to the outcry condemning the arrest of 13 people, including three lawyers, in Tanzania on Tuesday 17 October.
Thirteen people were arrested by Tanzanian police during a legal consultation convened by the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and Community Health Services and Advocacy (CHESA). The consultation was in preparation for a case ISLA and CHESA plan to file before a court challenging the Tanzanian government’s decision to limit the provision of certain health services that it had previously provided.
‘We join our colleagues at ISLA and Lawyers for Human Rights in calling on Tanzanian authorities to release those arrested immediately. We understand there to be no legal basis for the arrests. We agree with the many institutions that have voiced their outrage that these proceedings appear to be an attempt to intimidate citizens from approaching judicial institutions when their rights have been violated, and also an attempt to instill fear among lawyers who wish to assist them. As our colleagues have said, this ultimately creates an atmosphere where it is impossible to hold the state accountable for human rights violations’, say LSSA Co-Chairpersons Walid Brown and David Bekker.
The thirteen detained include a Ugandan citizen and two South Africans, including ISLA’s executive director, Sibongile Ndashe.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRPERSONS OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA, WALID BROWN AND DAVID BEKKER
by the Law Society of South Africa Communication Department
Contact: Barbara Whittle, Communication Manager, barbara@LSSA.org.za (012) 366 8800 or 083 380 1307
Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele, Communications Officer, nomfundom@LSSA.org.za Tel: (012) 366 8800 or 072 402 6344.