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NEW RULES

Tanzania bans organising protests online

New rules have also banned sharing of information about an infectious disease outbreak.

In Summary

• Under the new legislation, organising, planning or even supporting any form of demonstration online is now illegal.

• The Tanzanian authorities have removed rules governing hate speech on the basis of sexuality and gender.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli.
Image: FILE

Activists in Tanzania say new rules that restrict online content are infringing on people’s freedom of expression.

Under the new legislation, organising, planning or even supporting any form of demonstration online is now illegal.

The new rules have also banned sharing of information about an infectious disease outbreak without government permission.

The Tanzanian authorities have removed rules governing hate speech on the basis of sexuality and gender.

Correspondents say the new rules also make it possible for people to be prosecuted for what they write on a shared instant messaging platform, such as a WhatsApp group.

Human rights groups say since President John Magufuli came to power five years ago the Tanzanian authorities have cracked down on the media, civil society organisations and individuals critical of the government.