Tanzanian whistleblower intends to challenge the judgement

Tanzanian whistleblower intends to challenge the judgement

The lawyer for the founder of the Tanzanian whistleblowing website Jamii Forums has said his client, Maxence Melo, will challenge a court judgement against him.

On Wednesday a magistrate’s court in Dar es Salaam found Mr Melo guilty of obstructing police investigations in a case that spanned four years.

Subsequently, the court sentenced the Jamii Forums founder to one year in jail or payment of a fine of three million Tanzanian shillings ($1,300; £1,000).

In December 2016, Mr Melo was arrested for refusing to reveal to authorities the names of anonymous contributors to the whistleblowing website.

The next day, police searched his office and arrested two other employees before proceeding to carry out a search of Mr Melo’s house.

Its founders say that the website’s anonymity policy allows Tanzanians to expose corruption and push for political accountability in the country.

But protecting users’ identities has come at a cost. In the last three years, Mr Melo has appeared in court over 130 times.

Last year, rights organisation Committee to Protect Journalists recognised Mr Melo’s work with its International Press Freedom Award.

Source: BBC

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