Torture in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                              

United Republic of Tanzania

Tanzania is in the bottom ten percent of the world's economies in terms of per capita income. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Tanzania

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Tanzania.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Alleged Brutality and Torture during Tanzania’s Anti-Poaching Operation

Juliet Onyango, Zegabi East Africa News, 10 January 2014

[accessed 12 Jan 2014]

According to Lembeli, victims comprised local leaders who were humiliated in the presence of their constituents. Lembeli cited the instance of Peter Samwel, a councilor in Meatu district. The councilor alleged that security forces tied his legs and arms with a rope and hung him upside down for a number of hours.

In another case, a woman from Bariadi district claimed that three soldiers raped her at gunpoint.  On the same note, a 38-year old farmer residing in Ulanga district has also made public accusations against security forces. He alleges assault, as well as severe emotional and physical torture.

The farmer alleged that he woke up and found his home surrounded by anti-poaching officers who accused him of illicit hunting. During an interview with Inter Press Service, he claimed that the officers stripped him, poured salt on him, and whipped him in the presence of his 11-year old son.

Tanzania: Police Abuse, Torture, Impede HIV Services

Human Rights Watch, Dar es Salaam, 18 June 2013

[accessed 11 Feb 2014]

The 98-page report, “‘Treat Us Like Human Beings:’ Discrimination against Sex Workers, Sexual and Gender Minorities, and People Who Use Drugs in Tanzania,”documents abuses including torture, rape, assault, arbitrary arrest, and extortion.

Torture claims against Ukonga prison denied

Dickson Ng`hily, IPP Media, 29 March 2013

[accessed 30 March 2013]

The negative perception of the country’s prisons is cited as a cause for the unfolding accusations of torture at the Ukonga maximum security prison in Dar es Salaam.

One of the top prison officers at Ukonga prison who asked not to be named told our reporter in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that his prison is seen as inhuman and wretched place.

“…the public has to know that the Ukonga prison is not a place for inmates’ torture and other appalling conditions leading to their death. However inmates lose all of their freedom and have to follow very strict rules of conduct and order,” the source admitted.

He added: “When the inmates arrive here, they are taken for medical checkups so as to establish how fit they are and thus determine the kind of duties they are to be assigned…we provide them with food, mattresses and sheets as provide by the Prisons Act of 1967.”

“…after all, we are being regularly monitored by human rights teams which normally come and stay with the inmates even for two days. When they are in, prison warders do not interfere. We leave them to talk with the prisoners freely,” clarified the source.

He added: “We therefore, have a good reputation, in fact we don’t want to discolour our image … I remember a group of seven international human right activists who visited here … they were amazed to see the environment in which the inmates live.”

Early this month The Guardian reported allegations of extreme torture against inmates at the Ukonga Prison which were however vehemently denied by the authorities.”

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 14 February 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there continued to be reports that police officers tortured, threatened, and otherwise mistreated suspected criminals and prisoners during the year. Beatings and floggings were the methods most commonly used. According to press reports, more police were prosecuted during the year for abusing prisoners than in the previous year.

In September the government formed a commission to investigate torture allegations involving senior prison officers in the Geita district of Mwanza region. The officers were accused of torturing, beating, and sodomizing two members of sungusungu, a traditional militia. No additional information was available at year's end.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 4   Civil Liberties: 3   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 14 February 2013]

Tanzania’s judiciary has displayed signs of autonomy after decades of subservience to the one-party CCM regime, but it remains subject to considerable political influence. Arrest and pretrial detention rules are often ignored. Prison conditions are harsh, and police abuse is said to be common. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, at the end of 2006, there were 44,000 inmates in the country’s prisons, although government sources have indicated that the facilities’ collective capacity is only 23,000. Questions have been raised regarding the safety and health of prisoners, including minors and women, who have been subjected to sexual harassment and human rights abuses.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Tanzania ",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Tanzania]  [other countries]