BRUSSELS, Belgium – The government decision of January 23rd to suspend the circulation of “The East African”, a longestablished regional newspaper, gives rise to concerns about freedom of press in Tanzania.
It is the duty of the media to work within the law and to make every effort to adopt and a dhere to professional standards. But Press Freedom and freedom to express opinions are fundamental rights of the people, which call for circumspection and proportionality in the application of the law.
The Delegation of the European Union expresses its concern that modern media legislation in Tanzania, including on the citizens’ Right to Information, has not yet been promulgated despite the longstanding requests of the media profession and the repeated commitments of the Government.
It is recalled that in October 2010 the EU’s independent Election Observation Mission recommended expediting modernisation of the media laws, taking into account stakeholders’ views.
The Delegation of the European Union calls upon the Government to make every effort to preserve the freedom of expression in Tanzania and it urges all stakeholders to prioritise constructive dialogue as the primary means to resolve differences.
It also reiterates its commitment to monitor, support promote and monitor media freedom as a shared value of the EU partnership with Tanzania.
The High Commission of Canada and Embassies of Norway and Switzerland associate themselves with this statement.
Source: eTN Global Travel Industry News