Jan 2, 2020
Jul 28, 2022 06:56 PM
Zara Kay, an Australian citizen and founder of Faithless Hijabi, was summoned to the Dar es-Salaam Oysterbay Police Station on 28 December 2020 and was held in police custody for 32 hours without an initial clear indication of charges.
Zara is a well-known ex-Muslim and women’s rights activist. Faithless Hijabi, which she founded in 2018, supports women who have been ostracised or abused for leaving Islam. Whilst in police custody, Zara was asked about the work of her organisation and why she left Islam.
Zara was bailed on 29 December 2020 and told to return to the police station on 31 December. Her passport was also confiscated. This morning, at the police station, Zara was given permission to return on Tuesday 5 January 2021 with her lawyer. This is because stress caused by her initial police custody exacerbated Zara’s underlying health condition. Late last night, Zara had to go to the local hospital where doctors reiterated her diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
THE CHARGES AGAINST HER REMAIN AS FOLLOWS:
- Social media post deemed to be critical of the president of Tanzania, John Magufuli (these light satirical posts were posted in May when Zara was in London, addressing the handling of Covid-19 in Tanzania)
- Not returning her Tanzanian passport after gaining Australian citizenship (she never returned her Tanzanian passport as she misplaced and never used it after gaining Australian citizenship)
- Using a SIM-card not registered in her name (this was registered in a family member’s name). Failure to register SIM-cards legislation has been used to persecute other high-profile cases.
These charges are politically motivated and believed to be initiated by those from the Khoja Shia Ithnasheri Jamaat who have threated Zara with death for leaving Islam and for her activism in support of ex-Muslims and women.
It is evident that the authorities do not have a case against Zara. The trumped-up charges must be dropped and she must be free to leave the country.
CALL TO ACTION:
The International Coalition of Ex-Muslims reiterates its call on the Tanzanian government to unconditionally and immediately drop all the charges against Zara Kay and allow her to leave the country. Restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and conscience are in violation of international human rights obligations.
We also call on the public to continue to take urgent action by contacting Tanzanian embassies in countries of residence and the Tanzanian government calling for all charges against Zara Kay to be dropped and that she be permitted to leave the country.
Please also contact Australian embassies in countries of residence urging them to immediately intervene on behalf of Zara and get her home safe.
USEFUL TANZANIAN CONTACTS:
President John P. Magufuli P.O. Box 11400, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Email: email@example.com Twitter: @MagufuliJP
East Africa (including Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Seychelles, Eritrea) Twitter: @TZhighcom Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://ke.tzembassy.go.tz
France Website: https://www.fr.tzembassy.go.tz/contacts Twitter: @TanzaniaFrance Email: email@example.com
Germany Website: https://de.tzembassy.go.tz/contacts Twitter: @TZinGermany Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Netherlands Website: https://www.nl.tzembassy.go.tz/index.php/contacts Twitter: @Verheul\_Jeroen Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Scandinavia (Nordic Countries, Baltic States & Ukraine) Website: https://www.tanemb.se/contact-us/ Twitter: @TZTourismNORDIC Email: email@example.com
North America Website: https://tanzaniaembassy-us.org/ Twitter: @tzembassyus Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealand Website: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/africa/tanzania/consulate-for-the-united-republic-of-tanzania/ Email: email@example.com
Turkey Twitter: @tzembassyturkey Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Website: https://www.tr.tzembassy.go.tz/
Pakistan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Website: http://mofa.gov.pk/dar-es-salam-tanzania/ http://in.tzembassy.go.tz
India Twitter: @TanzaniainIndia Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; consular\firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://in.tzembassy.go.tz
Egypt Email: email@example.com Website: https://eg.tzembassy.go.tz/about/category/about-the-embassy
Morocco Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://eg.tzembassy.go.tz/about/category/about-the-embassy
Singapore Email: tz\email@example.com
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