26.10.2015 - Communication & Information Sector

Tanzania Police Force in dialogue on safety of journalists during election

The workshop for senior police officers was facilitated by UNESCO Dar es Salaam, UNDP and UN Women. It was organized within the framework of the Election Support Project - also known as the Democratic Empowerment Project - for the United Republic of Tanzania.

The discussion during the workshop covered matters related to the international legal framework and standards, the UN Plan of Action and the legal obligations of the security forces regarding the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. Next to this, wider definitions of ‘journalist’ were discussed, in accordance with The 2010 Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression (11 august 2010, A/65/284).

The workshop provided an opportunity for the senior police officers to discuss how to improve relations between the media and police forces. One of the participants in the dialogue was Mr. Joseph Sekiku, the Chairman of the Community Media Network of Tanzania and a member of the Task Force on the Safety and Security of Journalists. According to Mr. Sekiku this was the first dialogue session particularly on the media in relation to senior police officers, organized in Tanzania, and he hopes it will influence and improve the future cooperation between both parties.

The safety of journalists in Tanzania is especially challenged during political rallies and demonstrations. During the workshop various options to enhance the safety of journalists were discussed, among which a new media relations policy for the police force. After the successful dialogue session, UNESCO was requested to support the development of a media relations policy for police force and its incorporation into operational procedures.

UNESCO supports Capacity Development of 28 Community Radios in Tanzania, to set up peaceful and gender sensitive Voters Education and Voters Information in Tanzania. The 28 Community Radios in Tanzania reach a signal coverage area of 16 million Tanzanians. In collaboration with UNDP, the Election Monitoring Bodies and the Office of the Registrar of Political parties, UNESCO is also promoting ethical journalism and creating peace messaging during the elections in 2015.




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