Islamic Human Rights Commission
18th May 2001
ZANZIBAR:Launch of Report on Human Rights Abuses
Current situation inevitable result of union with Tanganyika
A new report on the background to the current violence and human rights abuses in Zanzibar will be launched on 30th May 2001 in London, UK.
The report is one of a series of briefings by the Islamic Human Rights Commission regarding anti-Muslim violence and discrimination. Report author Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed outlines the deterioration of civil rights in Zanzibar – where over 90% of the population are Muslim – since its union with Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964:
“Since the union…the government has consistently attempted to suppress popular dissent against the unfavourable conditions of the prevailing regime. An ongoing programme of suppression in this respect has gradually intensified throughout the ensuing decades…with a series of unfair elections culminating in a particularly brutal crackdown in the wake of rigged elections at the end of 2000…
“Protestors were shot or beaten to death by police accompanied by militias. At least 100 Muslim supporters of the opposition were killed in the first phase of violence, while up to a 1,000 or so fled as police broke into homes, beating, arresting and detaining civilians…Several hundred Muslims remain missing, and hundreds continue to flee the escalating violence into Kenya. The government, …seems to have no qualms about using violent methods…There are reports of the appearance of mass graves in the aftermath of indiscriminate shootings by police forces. The crackdown…signifies that the future of Zanzibar is likely to be fraught with increasing political turmoil and related violence.”
The 24 page report entitled, Suppressing Dissent: The Crackdown on Muslims in Zanzibar will be launched in conjunction with a report on police brutality in the Republic of Mauritius. Its author will be available for interview and to answer any questions. Venue: Islamic Centre, 140 Maida Vale, London, W9. Time: 6 p.m.
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