Tanzanian government apologises to ‘manhandled’ protesters with disabilities
Africa, June 21 2017
The Tanzanian government has apologised to protesters with disabilities who were manhandled by the police last Friday in the capital Dar es Salaam.
Local media The Citizen reports that the protesters were gathered at the city administration offices demanding the freedom to use their tricycles in the city centre after it was barred.
Their action was met by the police who were reported to have violently stopped them due to lack of authorization.
“Let me use this opportunity to officially apologise for the ordeal on behalf of the Police Force,” Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said on Tuesday in parliament.
He added that all the authorities including the police are finding solutions to avoid future incidents.
A number of disability rights groups on Monday called on the government and the Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro to take action against the uniformed men or face legal action.
The incident was captured in a video that elicited a lot of outrage against the police.
This action follows a similar one by the police in Angola in April who physically engaged in a fight with some protesting members of the National Association of Disabled People of Angola.
They were reportedly heading towards a meeting point to protest the lack of accessible infrastructure and equal opportunities in education and employment for persons with disabilities.
Human Rights Watch called on the government to respect its obligations as a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.