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Tanzanian comedian, former BBAfrica housemate and winner of the 2014 reality show, Idris Sultan has been arrested for allegedly laughing at a throwback photo of President of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli in a short video he shared online.
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According to his lawyer, Benedict Ishabakaki, as he reported to BBC on Thursday May 21, 2020, he was accused of contravening the Cybercrimes Act 2015 against cyberbullying. The law which states;
“A person shall not initiate or send any electronic communication using a computer system to another person with intent to coerce, intimidate, harass or cause emotional damage.”
The lawyer, Ishabakaki said they are currently waiting for the arraignment of Idris who has been in police custody for two days and accused of using the internet to harass the President.
The famous Tanzanian comedian Idris Sultan (@IdrisSultan) is jailed after posting a video in which he was laughing at a picture of the President of Tanzania.
See the video:
— Comrade Désiré (@ncambirwa) May 19, 2020
Ishabakaki, while speaking with BBC, said;
“They have not told him till now if he has broken any clause … but their questioning behavior is related to the video. We hope he can be released on bail today. In short, the police claim Idris used the internet to harass the president.”
After the arraignment, if Idris Sultan is found guilty of the charges levelled against him, he will be required to pay a fine of not less than Tsh5 million or imprisonment for a term of not less than three years or both.
Idris’ fans on Twitter have however started a trend demanding the release of the comedian with the hashtag, #FreeIdrisSultan.
This is however not the first time he has been arrested. In October 2019, he was arrested for photo-shopping President John Pombe Magufuli.
While summoning Idris, Dar es Salaam Regional Commander Paul Makonda claimed the comedian didn’t know the boundaries of his work.