Tanzanian comedian Idris Sultan is in police custody after a video of him laughing at an old photograph of President John Magafuli was shared on social media.
Popular Tanzanian comedian Idris Sultan was recently arrested and placed in police custody for allegedly “cyber-bullying” President John Magafuli. Sultan’s arrest comes after a video of him laughing at an old photograph of President Magafuli was shared on social media.
Tanzanian law reportedly states that: “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.”
This is not the first time that Sultan has been arrested on charges of cyber-bullying President Magafuli. Last year, he was accused of contravening the country’s Cybercrimes Act after he posted a photo on social media where he had face swapped an image of the president on his 60th birthday with a caption that read “We swapped roles for a day so that he could enjoy his birthday in peace”.
Sultan maintained that his intentions had not been malicious and even had the Minister of Natural Resource and Tourism, Hamis Kigwangalla, promising to bail him out should it be necessary.
Many on social media have condemned Sultan’s arrest citing a crackdown on freedom of expression in the country. As a result, there is now a rallying cry to have Sultan released under the banner #FreeIdrisSultan.