THE NYAMONGO –TARIME MASSACRE AND HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS,
June 8th, 2011
The police army, on 16th May 2011 intentionally shot dead five people in Nyamongo-Tarime and inflicted seriously bodily harm to many others alleging that they invaded one of the Barrick Gold mines at Nyamongo-Tarime district.
As part of its work, LEAT sent a special research/fact finding mission to collect facts regarding Nyamongo-Tarime massacre and impunities reportedly taking place on 16th May 2011. The fact finding mission composed of Mr. Stanslaus Nyembea (LEAT) and Evans Sichalwe (LHRC).
On n 25th May 2011, LEAT had an interview with some of the eye witnesses and family members of the deceased.
In the interview, LEAT satisfied itself that five people, most of them youth aged between 20-32 years were inhumanly killed by police. The gunning of the deceased was intentionally done.
Herein below is the list of the deceased:
Key facts collected by LEAT:
1. Police force used excessive force
2. Killings were done intentionally.
3. The deceased and others who were alleged to invade the Barrick gold mine were completely unarmed.
4. The deceased and other gunned victims were collecting leftovers outside Barrick Mines after been permitted by police on duty.
5. Mr. John Henjewele, DC for Tarime is allegedly to be behind the killings and is extra happy with this atrocity and human rights crisis and wishes the incident could have claimed more lives of the people. He was quoted telling the family members of the deceased that he wished more people could have been killed!
6. The police refused to allow CHADEMA and family members to have public services for the last respect paying, previously arranged to be held at Saba Saba ground. The letter with Ref. No. TAR/A.14/3/B/226, dated 23/05/11 signed by Senior Superintend Police-SSP Eliakimu Massenga proves this.
7. The government has, all the time, been behind this atrocity.
8. On 25th May 2011 around 10.00pm, police force full armed raided mortuary, beaten up and arrested family members of the deceased and took the deceased. Police force then left some of the bodies of the deceased by the roadside few metres from their homes/relatives.
LOCK UPS OF THE CHADEMA, DECEASED FAMILY MEMBERS AND LEAT LAWYER.
LEAT, got a call from one of the interviewed relatives of the deceased around 10.00pm that police force has raided mortuary, severely beaten and arrested CHADEMA and family members who were guarding mortuary. Further police had taken the bodies from mortuary forceful, mercilessly, inhumanly and without covering the bodies with any piece of clothes (naked). The police force took the bodies to the villages where the deceased came from. It is important to note that some of the deceased were left by the roadsides. On his way to witness the incident, nearly 100 metres to the scene, LEAT lawyer, Mr. Stanslaus Nyembea was arrested and detained by police and later on charged of three counts namely; illegal gathering, criminal trespass and unlawful restraining medical officer from conducting post-mortem.
IN LOCK UPS
LEAT lawyer, Mr. Stanslaus Nyembea was detained at Tarime police lock-up. In lock ups, LEAT witnesses several human rights violations and mistreatment of the remandees. LEAT highlights some of the key human rights violations hereunder;
There were three severely beaten and tortured inmates in the lock up where LEAT lawyer was locked up. They were suspected to be involved in armed robbery in Tarime suburbs. The suspects alleged to be arrested by police and taken to unidentified/secret torturing camp/house whereby they were tortured while their eyes covered by clothes. Hot and cold water were poured on their bodies rotationally. They were then slashed with sticks at different parts of their bodies. One of the victims, famous known as Bastard, was then tortured in different parts of his body by using pliers. Leather made robs were used by police to discipline the victims. Neither of them were taken to hospital despite their bad health conditions especially, Mr. Bastard.
Also, Mr. Stanslaus Nyembea met someone who was allegedly shot three times on his foot. The most important issue to take note is that he was shot after been arrested.
Further, Mr. Stanslaus Nyembea met someone who alleged to have been set free by the court and rearrested and held by police for a week. He was told that by the police that they wanted to take his photos as it seems that he was appearing to have committed several serious crimes. Amazingly, he was taken to police custody and remanded for several days without been informed any allegations against him.
The victims told LEAT lawyer that famous torturing secret camps are in Tarime town and Utegi. However, the location can’t be traced as all victims were covered their eyes while heading to the places for such extra judicial and inhuman punishments. Further, some victims told LEAT that there is a forest place earmarked by police in Tarime, special for carrying out these inhuman activities.
Horribly, LEAT met one inmate, who informed us that he is a counsellor in one of the words in Tarime. He narrated to LEAT stories of the bodily harm inflicted on him by police. He was nailed nearby his ankles on both of his legs just like what the Bible tells us about Jesus.
TARIME REMAND PRISON SITUATION
LEAT met a shocking situation in Tarime remand prison. The prison has more 500 inmates kept in 12 cells, common known as “cello”. Interestingly, most of the inmates are youth aged between 18- 38 years. Hereinafter are some of the key issues that LEAT met with in prison;
a. Alleged False imprisonment/Fabricated cases
The majority of the inmates are remandees charged of armed robbery and murder. LEAT had oral consultations with several inmates. LEAT noted that crimes every one charged of/with are un-bailable. The cases for most inmates are stuck or pending in courts as investigations are incomplete or going on, so they remain held in remand prison. Some of them have been held for up to three years.
The inmates, who consulted LEAT, had their cries thrown to police and DPP. They told LEAT that most of the cases and crimes they are charged of, are either fictitious or/and police imposed on them. Actually, they claim most of them never committed such crimes. Some of them are rearrested soon after their release by the court and charged of other crimes using the same facts. One of the accused told LEAT that he has been in prison since 2008 and last year was charged of murder. The person he is alleged to have killed died in 2010 due to unknown reasons.
b. Corruption allegations
The inmates informed LEAT that corruption is rampant in Tarime. The chief perpetrators mentioned and implicated in this illegal act and misconducts are police force and DPP office.
The inmates claimed that those who are able to offer bribes to police, and sometimes to DPP, their case files are either closed by lack of evidence or nolle prosequi. They claimed that for police or DPP to do so, between 1 -0.5 million Tanzanian shillings is required.
c. Young persons mistreatment
LEAT met two young persons, who are inmates in Tarime remand prison. Both of them are charged of murder. They are kept in cells with adults. The issue in contest lies on the legality of putting together young persons and the adults in the same cells. To LEAT’s view, this situation is not only illegal but also violates our culture and norms that our communities in Tanzania embrace. It should be born in mind that the remandees and prisoners in Tarime have both long and short calls on open spaces. Toilets and bathrooms are not enough and very dirty, so remandees help themselves on open spaces.
d. Inhuman treatment of the remandees
All remandees are ordered to take off/strip, in public, all clothes when back from the courts or when entering Tarime prison for the first time. They are checked/inspected while naked if they have anything hidden at their secret parts (most cases in anus). LEAT lawyer and 7 others were among of the inmates who experienced this serious violation of human rights. LEAT was told that this was an ordinary exercise in Tarime remand prison. To our view, no inhuman treatment can be compared with this. The right to privacy and human dignity is highly degraded.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
A. To the Government of Tanzania;
LEAT proposes the following curative measures to address this intolerable human rights crisis:
B. To Non-Governmental Organizations;
nyembeason [at] yahoo [dot] com
Criminal case no. 210/2011