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Tanzania: Arrested journalist called for pardon

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The lawyer for a prominent Tanzanian journalist arrested more than two months ago called on Tuesday on President John Magufuli to pardon him as a court postponed a hearing into his case for a sixth time.

Erick Kabendera, who has written for international publications, was charged in August with leading organized crime, failing to pay taxes and money laundering.

His lawyers reject the charges and say the case is politically motivated. Rights groups have also said the case is politically motivated.

Jebra Kambole, Kabendera’s lead counsel, told reporters that on behalf of Kabendera and his family he was calling on the president to pardon him “if in his duties as a journalist, somewhere, somehow, did something wrong to the president or the government”.

“We are apologizing for that … we would like him to consider this request,” Kambole said.

The journalist is being held at the Segerea prison, a maximum-security facility, on the outskirts of the capital, Dar es Salaam.

The prosecutor told the court that his investigations were not complete, while Kabendera’s lawyers called for the process to move forward given that their client was being held on charges that are not bailable.

Kabendera told the court that he was receiving medical treatment. Since mid-August, he has had difficulty breathing and complained of numbness in one of his legs, his lawyers have told the court at previous hearings.

Rights groups say press freedom in Tanzania has drastically deteriorated since the election in 2015 of Magufuli.

His administration has suspended some newspapers, arrested opposition leaders and restricted political rallies. The government has rejected the criticism.

Reporters Without Borders called for Tanzania to end a “growing crackdown on media and journalists”, after the government communications regulator fined three online television channels on Sept. 27 for failing to publish their editorial policy statement in line with a 2018 law.

All three channels have been critical of the president, the media rights group said in a statement on Monday.

The president said on Sept. 22 that people held on charges of tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes should be freed if they confessed and returned what they had stolen.

source reuters

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24 Hours Across Africa

Man United sweating over De Gea fitness

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Manchester united has suffer injury blow after David de Gea picked up a muscle injury on international duty, Spain took no chances to substitute him with Kepa Arrizabalaga in 60minutes.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not given any update on his fitness ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool.

The United goalkeeper appeared to tweak a hamstring while taking a goal kick during the second half of Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Sweden on Tuesday night.

They face current league leaders Liverpool who possess a potent front three in Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and Solskjaer will be desperately hoping his star goalkeeper will be fit, with United on a woeful run of form.

While, United could be without their De gea and Paul pogba this weekend, Liverpool are set to welcome back their star goalkeeper Alisson.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Bahaa admits standing-in for Mo Salah in Tv ads

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Ahmad Bahaa says he has acted as a stand-in for the Liverpool and Egypt striker in TV commercials.

Electronics engineer Bahaa told an Egyptian talk show on Al-Nahar TV he had appeared as Salah in mobile phone and soft drinks adverts, as well as an anti-drugs campaign.

“I did several ads with Salah,” he said.

Bahaa only appears in wide shots, not close-ups.

Mo Salah and Ahmad Bahaa

Seeing double? Mo Salah and his lookalike

“Salah of course can’t stay for long to shoot a single ad,” Bahaa explained.

“I would spend a couple of days [shooting] here, while they complete [filming] with him in England.

“This is just to speed up the process because he doesn’t have a lot of time to spare.”

@ Anttention Fresh,                
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