Tanzanians protest detention for 4 years without trial

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The majority of the suspects, who include preachers, were arrested in the mainly Christian northern city of Arusha, following a series of deadly attacks in 2013. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some 60 Tanzanian Muslims say they have been held for four years without trial on terror charges and have threatened to boycott any future hearings, local media reported Wednesday.

The majority of the suspects, who include preachers, were arrested in the mainly Christian northern city of Arusha, following a series of deadly attacks in 2013.

They all deny their involvement in the violence which included an attack on a Catholic church during a mass attended by the Vatican ambassador to the country and the city’s archbishop.

“It has been four years since we were arrested … but they are playing with us, we are brought here (to court) and then sent back to prison,” one of the suspects told the local Mwananchi newspaper after the latest hearing on Tuesday.

“It is always the same story: the investigation is not finished. We are fed up!”

The suspects say their families have been barred from visiting them until the start of their trial.

They say they do not want to appear in court again until the investigation has wrapped up.

“If the investigation is never meant to end (authorities) should declare us indefinite prisoners, until we die,” another suspect said.

Judge Nestory Baro said he would inform the prosecution of the suspects’ decision to boycott future hearings, however insisted they be present at the next one on April 11.

©AFP

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