UN Human Rights Office raises concerns over 'shrinking of democratic space' in Tanzania

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Geneva [Switzerland], October 27 (ANI/Sputnik): The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is concerned about the situation over ensuring democratic freedoms in Tanzania in the wake of reported attacks against political opponents and journalists, the spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, said on Tuesday.

"We have been following with concern the shrinking of democratic space in the country, with worrying reports of intimidation, harassment, arbitrary arrests and physical attacks against political opponents, journalists, women human rights defenders and other activists," Shamdasani told a briefing in Geneva.

According to the spokeswoman, such repressions intensified ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in the African country scheduled for Wednesday.

"We are particularly alarmed by reports that three people were reportedly killed last night and others injured on Pemba Island in the Zanzibar archipelago where police fired live ammunition in clashes with opposition supporters. We urge the authorities to ensure prompt, transparent, independent investigations into the incident and urge all actors to refrain from any acts of violence," Shamdasani said.

The UN official also called on all parties involved to ensure that the upcoming elections are held "in a peaceful, inclusive and participatory manner, with people being able to cast their votes free of fear and intimidation." (ANI/Sputnik)