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Tanzania: Comedian released from detention 

22 June 2020
Idris Sultan posing to the picture
Image: Comedian Idris Sultan / Idris Sultan on Facebook

 

UPDATE

27 May 2020: Comedian Idris Sultan appeared in a court in Dar es Salaam and was released from detention on a cash bail of 368,000 Tanzanian shillings (about 141,800 euros). He spent eight days in police custody, reported Kenyan Digest 

Sultan was charged under Section 23 of the Cybercrimes Act 2015 because he allegedly bullied President John Magufuli in a video published on social media 

 

 

4 June 2020

Tanzania: Comedian detained over a video allegedly bullying President

19 May 2020: Tanzanian comedian Idris Sultan was detained and questioned for supposedly bullying President John Magufuli in a video published on social media, reported Ghana Web 

Sultan has been charged under Section 23 of the Cybercrimes Act 2015, because of the video in which he laughs of the old photograph of President Magufuli 

Section 23 states that it is forbidden to “initiate or send any electronic communication using a computer system to another person with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass or cause emotional distress”. Breaking this law is punished with imprisonment for at least three years, fine of 5 million (€2milion) Tanzanian shillings, or both. 

“They are questioning him for allegedly contravening section 23 of the act. In a nutshell, they [the police] are accusing him of bullying the president through that video clip,” Bennedict Ishabakaki, Sultan’s lawyer told BBC. “But I strongly believe, as a comedian, my client is only doing satire, and satire can be political as well.” 

BBC reports that Sultan has been detained previously by police in October 2019, for allegedly sharing photoshopped face swap pictures of himself and President Magufuli. Sultan was accused of breaking Section 23 of the Cybercrimes Act, which prohibits the use of a computer to “impersonate” someone. He was later released without charge.   

 

 

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