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Tanzania
28.06.02
Urgent Interventions

'Tanzania: congolese refugee Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile has been arrested and tortured by the Tanzanian police

Case TZA 280602
Arbitrary arrest / Torture / Release

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Tanzania.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Centre Pour l’Education et la Défense des Droits de Homme (CEDH), a member of the OMCT network, that on May 12th 2002, 32-year old Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo was arrested and tortured by the Tanzanian police.

According to the information received, Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile was arrested in the Lugufu Refugee camp for Congolese refugees’ marketplace in Kigoma, Tanzania. The arrest was motivated by the fact that he was wearing a policeman’s stolen shoes. Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile was arrested and taken to the camp’s police station, where he was reportedly beaten and tortured by the police officers. He reportedly still has visible traces from the beatings and torture to which he was subjected.

According to the report, the police later established that Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile had received the shoes from a certain Mr. Dodoly as a repayment for a long-standing debt of 1,500 SHT (US$1.5), but Mr. Waanga Baba Ngiledid not reportedly know that they had been stolen from a policeman.

According to the information received, Mr. Dodoly has now gone into hiding. Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile was reportedly released on bail amounting to 20,000 SHT (US$20) on June 25th 2002. His family paid the bail, as they decided that it was better to have him released immediately in this way, rather than attempting to engage in legal proceedings to have him freed, as they feared that he would again be subjected to torture if he remained in detention.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned about Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile’s arbitrary arrest and subsequent torture at the hands of the Tanzanian Police Force. OMCT is also concerned about the authorities’ use of arbitrary arrests, detention and torture in refugee camps in Tanzania. Furthermore, OMCT fears that the alleged perpetrators of these acts will not be brought to justice and that Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile will not be awarded adequate reparation.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Tanzania urging them to:

i. order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of these events and guarantee that those responsible are brought to trial and that the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions are applied as provided by law;
ii. guarantee adequate reparation to Mr. Waanga Baba Ngile;
iii. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights laws and standards.

Addresses

· H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, President of the Union Government, Office of the President, State House, Magogoni Road, P O Box 9120, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, Fax: 255 222 113 425
· Permanent Secretary, Vice-President's Office, P.O Box 5380, Dar es Salaam, E-mail: makamu@twiga.com

Please also write to the diplomatic representatives of Tanzania in your country.

Geneva, June 28th, 2002

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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