Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday evening ordered the release of 23 political prisoners who were detained for among other reasons, criticising the 2020 General Election in the country.

President Suluhu directed the country’s Attorney General to withdraw the cases against the 23 with immediate effect.

Suluhu’s move comes two days after civil society groups under the umbrella of African Civil Society actors held a press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday where they called for the release of activists and journalists who were detained unlawfully by the previous regime.

This came as the Tanzanian President was on two-day State visit in Kenya.

The Haki Africa human rights group that made the statement on behalf of their colleagues in the region acknowledged the move by President Suluhu to pardon 5,000 prisoners last week, stating that notable human rights defenders are still languishing in correctional facilities.

“We acknowledge your stature as a progressive leader to the People of Tanzania, East Africa and Africa at large. As civil society organizations, we have confidence and faith in your leadership and the good example you continue to set. Your Excellency, we African civil society actors from all walks of life, view the citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania as our brothers and sisters,” read the statement released on Tuesday.

According to Haki Africa, there are at least 100 known human rights defenders, journalists and political activists still being detained over the last election.

 

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