Dar es Salaam. A global campaign to bring attention to the case of missing Tanzanian journalist, Mr Azory Gwanda, was launched Thursday, April 4, 2019, in the United States.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) launched the #WhereIsAzory campaign on the eve of 500 days’ timeline of the missing of the journalist.
Other than raising awareness, the campaign also aims at urging the government of Tanzania to carry out credible investigation to account for the missing journalist, said CPJ’s Africa program coordinator Angela Quintal.
In a statement, Quintal said supporters can participate by sharing the hashtags #WhereIsAzory and #MrudisheniAzory on social media.
"Azory Gwanda is a freelance journalist reporting about his community and he must not become just another statistic."
"Through this campaign, we want to ensure that Gwanda's case becomes a priority for the Tanzanian authorities and that we get much-needed answers about what really happened him. Until that time, Tanzanian journalists will not feel safe," said Quintal.
Gwanda was last seen by his family and friends on November 21, 2017 when he was picked by unidentified people in a white land cruiser van from a local township.
He was driven in the car to his home where he told his wife, Anna Pinoni, that he was taking an emergency trip, and would return the next day. He has not been seen since.
No motive has been established of his disappearance but CPJ says there was a strong possibility that the journalist’s reporting on a series of mysterious killings along Dar’s coastline was the reason.
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According to CPJ, when Ms Quintal and her colleague Muthoki Mumo were detained overnight and interrogated in Tanzania last year, they were specifically asked about their interest in Gwanda.
Ms Quintal says local media has come under government crackdown and may lose the steam and courage to sustain the campaign for Mr Gwanda.
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