Mr. Tundu Lissu has left for Belgium after severe threats and intimidation by the police.
Tanzania's opposition leader Tundu Lissu has left his country. Diplomats from Germany, Belgium, the USA and other countries discussed with the Tanzanian government for a week so that I could leave the country safely, he told Deutsche Welle shortly before his flight to Belgium. After an hour-long police interrogation on November 2nd, he asked for protection at the German embassy.
However, he was not leaving his country as a refugee, said Mr Lissu. I am only going to explore other platforms to regain justice, democracy and the dignity of Tanzanians. The ambassadors of Germany, the USA and Belgium accompanied Mr. Lissu to the airport, his party Chadema also announced that he was in Belgium for medical treatment.
After an attempted assassination on him three years ago, Mr. Lissu had been in Belgium for treatment for a long time and had only returned shortly before the election on October 28th. The threats against him increased after the election. A temporary ban had been imposed on Lissu, and the authorities also accused him of "incendiary" statements.
Concern about the harassment against the opposition
According to official results, the increasingly authoritarian President John Magufuli won a second term with 84 percent of the vote. The opposition called the election illegitimate and called for peaceful protests. However, these were stopped by the police. According to the UN Human Rights Bureau, at least 150 opposition activists were arrested in the course of the election, at least 18 of whom are still in custody.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet, was worried about the harassment against the opposition on the mainland and in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar. "The tense situation in the country will not be eased by silencing those who are contesting the outcome of the elections," said Bachelet. There has to be a dialogue. The authorities would have to release the opposition and accept the right to freedom of expression and assembly.
Tireless Fighter for Justice and Truth
There had already been riots and riots in the run-up to the election. According to the two largest opposition parties, at least eleven people were shot before the polling stations opened. Critics and human rights activists criticize Mr. Magufuli's increasing restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of expression, as well as his handling of the Wuhan virus crisis. The country with around 58 million inhabitants has not officially announced any virus cases since May.
Mr. Tundu Lissu is anti-corruption lawyer who was responsible for the research and preparation of the document that revealed the involvement of the Tanzania's high ranking officials in plundering of public funds, famously known as the 'List of Shame'. He was a Member of Parliament. The corrupted regime arrested him, beaten up, and intimidated. He was shot sixteen times and seriously injured at the residence of the Members of Parliament. After the assassination attempt he said: Those who planned this failed attack did not have a plan B. My God was truly watching over me. He did not resign from the fight. One influential European newspaper introduced him as tireless fighter for justice and truth.