In conjunction with the Tanzanian Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC), ABA ROLI supported the Judiciary of Zanzibar’s first judicial retreat between November 26-27, 2022. Attended by 30 judges and magistrates from the island, the retreat session topics included freedom of expression, children’s rights, and due process rights. The meetings were led by national and regional subject matter experts, including a retired judge of the High Court, Justice Makaramba, a High Court Judge of Dodoma, Hon. Justice Mambi, and from Uganda, Ms. Catherine Anite, a member of the Amal Clooney High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom.
These activities in Zanzibar fall within ABA ROLI’s regional work in East Africa, focused on the protection and promotion of Freedom of Expression (FOE)—a program that spans both Uganda and Tanzania. Launched in 2019, the project has employed several strategies to meet the overall project goals, including the use of strategic litigation to challenge problematic laws constraining civic space; the provision of urgent legal assistance to human rights defenders; documentation and advocacy to promote enhanced protection of FOE; sensitization and outreach efforts using multi-media avenues and public engagements; as well as working with universities/law schools in both countries to discuss emerging issues on FOE in the region. ABA ROLI has been implementing these activities in partnership with a consortium of local, regional and international partners including: the Network of Public Interest Lawyers; the East African Network of University Clinics; Freedom of Expression Hub; Tanzanian Human Rights Defenders Coalition; MISA-Tanzania; Pan-African Lawyers Union and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.