UK Lawyers write to Tanzanian President over Tundu Lissu

Tundu Lissu
Tundu Lissu addressing the parliament of Tanzania in Dodoma. Photo: Likumbage (used under the Creative Commons Licence)

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has been urged in a letter sent by The Law Society, the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC) and Bar Council of England and Wales (BHRC) to immediately carry out an independent and effective investigation into the facts and circumstances of the shooting of Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu.

The lawmaker, was shot in the stomach at his Dodoma residence on September 7 and is continuing to receive medical treatment at the Nairobi Hospital in Kenya.

The letter, which was signed on Wednesday by the Law Society President Joe Egan, the Bar Council chairman Andrew Langdon and BHRC chairman Kirsty Brimelow said: “The shooting of Mr Lissu, and other events that have taken place with regard to members of the legal profession and the TLS in particular, are of great concern. It is of the utmost importance that the independence of bar associations be respected, since this is an essential element to guarantee the effective functioning of the rule of law.

“As with every citizen, members of the legal profession have the right to freely to express their opinion as well as entitled to exercise their professional duties without external interference.

“In this regard, the Law Society, the Bar Council and BHRC respectfully remind the President of the international legal obligations that are binding on Tanzania and that reflect these rights and principles.”

The three bodies have also urged the Tanzanian President to deploy an independent investigation over other crimes being committed against members of the legal profession.

“It is high time President Magufuli fulfilled Tanzania’s international obligations, protect lawyers and ensure that they are able to perform their professional activities without facing intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference,” reads part of the letter.

Leave a Reply