The Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) jointly with The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRD- Coalition)) seriously condemn the barbaric and savage attack that was directed to Dr. Steven Ulimboka the chairperson of Tanzania Doctors Association on 26TH June, 2012 at around mid night in Dar es Salaam.
Wherefore, we would like to inform the general public that, unknown group of individuals [most likely alleged to be state agents] on the said date and time, at Leader’s Club Area, in Kinondoni District, in Dar es Salaam City, arrested the said Dr. Ulimboka. They forced him into a car [one black saloon car] - which did not have plate numbers; they took him away by force and held him; they covered his face with a piece of black cloth and tied him with ropes, while beating him severely using different objects such as gun-butts [butt-stocks], and other sharp-edged weapons. As a result of those savage beatings, he sustained several visible injuries in different parts of his body from head to feet. In short he was kidnapped and brutally tortured.
At the dawn of 27th June, we were informed of the event and that the said Dr. Ulimboka, who was earlier on reported missing, was found and that was held at Bunju Police Station. We were informed Dr. Ulimboka was found unconscious by good Samaritans in a forest at Mabwepande in Dar es Salaam where he was lying without assistance after being that much hurt and bleeding excessively. The residents took him to a nearby police Station at Bunju. We intervened at Bunju police post and picked him for treatment where he is currently being diagnosed at the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) for medical examination and treatment.
Given this cruel, inhumane and degrading incidence, LHRC and THRD-Coalition and on behalf of the rest of likeminded organisations and individual human rights defenders, with all our energy and vigour, seriously and gravely condemn this intolerable and callous attack to Dr. Ulimboka.
We call upon,
a) The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania,
i. To provide all medical services as the case may be, so as to salvage the life of Dr. Ulimboka;
ii. To objectively and thoroughly investigate the whole incidence;
iii. To apprehend all perpetrators and their agents and publicly notify the nation about them and the reasons for inflicting such terrible injuries to the said Dr. Ulimboka;
iv. To professionally prosecute all perpetrators;
v. To ensure that the perpetrators are adequately penalized upon conviction.
b)The Police Force:
- To abstain from taking sides in the existing labour dispute between the doctors and the government;
- To respect rule of law, human rights, presumption of innocence and professionalism in all of their undertakings.
c) The Human Rights Defenders:
- To form and consolidate our Solidarity at all levels and condemn the attack and the like.
d) The Medical Professionals:
- Considering the presence of a provocative environment that invites negative reaction, we still call upon all medical professionals to refrain from active confrontation at this moment and proceed to pursue their rights within the ambit of the law.
e) The general Public,
- To support all initiatives that are meant to pursue ends of justice in relation to this incident.
- To demand accountability and improvement of social services in particular – health services in Tanzania.
- To condemn such incidences of abuse of human rights.
Wherefore, all what was done to Dr. Ulimboka are carrying series of criminal liabilities to perpetrators. Moreover, the incidence demonstrates a clear violation of his basic rights as protected by the United Republic of Tanzania Constitution of 1977 articles 12, 13, 14, 15,16,17 18, 20, 22, 23 and 29.
WE believe that such incidences like this one are normally calculated to silence and hamper the work and efforts of human rights defenders. It should never be repeated in our civilized and democratic society otherwise all human rights defenders in Tanzania are at peril.
Delivered in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, this 2 7th June 2012.
Executive Director – LHRC Coordinator – THRD-Coalition
Dr. Helen Kijo-Bisimba Mr. Onesmo Olengurumwa