Tanzania/UK: Disbarment, arrest and detention of lawyers in Tanzania


Disbarment, arrest and detention of lawyers in Tanzania

Who we wrote to

The president of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli.

What’s the issue

We’re gravely concerned about attacks on lawyers and the independence of the legal profession in Tanzania, which takes the form of disbarments, arrest and detention, and legislative proposals.

Lawyer Fatma Karume

Fatma Karume was recently disbarred, following the Advocates’ Disciplinary Committee decision of 23 September 2020 for statements made in written submissions as well as comments she made on Twitter.

On 20 September 2019, Ms Karume had been suspended as a lawyer by the Tanzanian High Court, which referred the case of her alleged professional misconduct to the  committee.

We’re concerned that the High Court suspended Ms Karume from legal practice, even though that court itself recognised that the matter had to be dealt with by a “proper and unfettered forum” and that she had a right to be heard.

Lawyers Jebra Kambole and Edson Kilatu

On 10 March 2020, Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court found nine opposition party leaders guilty of criminal offences, including unlawful assembly, rioting and sedition, and sentenced them to payment of a total of 350 million Tanzanian schillings or a five-month prison term.










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