Tanzania: Artist jailed for burning president’s picture

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A portrait artist in Tanzania has been jailed for two years for burning a photo of the country’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Shadrack Chaula was found guilty of cybercrimes after his arrest for recording a viral video, showing him burning a picture of the President while allegedly insulting her.

The 24-year-old who refused to be defended in court admitted committing the crime.

The magistrate that heard the case found Chaula guilty of distributing videos on TikTok that contained false information in violation of the country’s cyber laws.

The court ruled that his actions constituted cyber-harassment and incitement.

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Chaula however can be freed should he pay a fine of $2,000. Some Tanzanian social media users are raising funds online to pay his fine.

Police said Chaula used “strong words” against the president in the video he posted on social platform TikTok.

Local police chief Benjamin Kuzaga has told reporters that the artist’s offences included burning the president’s portrait and disseminating offensive content online.

“It is not the culture of Mbeya people to insult our national leaders,” Mr Kuzaga said.

But some lawyers said there was no law criminalising the burning of a picture of the president.

The painter’s act though is considered unethical in Tanzania, sparking public outrage.

 

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Source: Africafeeds.com

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