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Media Council of Tanzania Website

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Abducted Zanzibari journalist Salma Said broke down emotionally as she narrated her ordeal before a packed press conference held at the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) on March 20, 2016.

Salma a journalist for the German Broadcaster – Deustche Welle (DW) and Mwananchi and Citizen newspapers said she was forced into a car on arrival at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam on March 18, 2016.

She was slapped and forced to cover her face as she was taken to a house in an unknown place in City.

She was accosted by two men and was told that she had been taken to stop her from reporting the repeat election in Zanzibar which was held on March 20, 2016.

According to Salma, the two left without taking anything from her and she used that occasion to send a message to her husband using her cell phone to inform him that she was arrested.

She also rang DW to them that she was in captivity. DW phone back and interviewed her.

When her captors returned and saw that she had her cell phone, they beat her up. “They kicked and slapped me”, she told the attentive pressmen.

She dismissed as very unfortunate allegations that she had intently staged her abduction.

“I have been journalists for over 20 years. I like my work and I would very much want to feature prominently in covering the repeat election. Why in hell would l pull up a trick on being abducted? she asked when responding to a question raised by a female journalist.

National Coordinator of Tanzania human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) – Ones Olengurumwa , appealed to journalists to thoroughly follow-up Salma’s ordeal reminding the Media   previous abductions such as that of Dr. Stephen Ulimboka who was beaten up and left in a bush by suspected state operatives, the extra-judicial killing of journalist Daud Mwangosi and the beating up of former chairperson of Tanzania Editors Forum, Absalom Kibanda.

The authorities were equally dismissive on what exactly had happened to the victims and they wanted it to appear it had played no part in their ordeals.

Salma narrated she was released in the small hours, the day after the election were held and she had to go to hospital for treatment.

She spoke before the media in the presence of the Executive Secretary of the Media Council of Tanzania, Kajubi Mukajanga, the chairperson of Tanzania Editors Forum, Theophil Makunga and the THDRC coordinator, Olengurumwa.

The three had strongly condemned her abduction at a press conference on March 18, 2016 and appealed for her immediate release.

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