Attack on Tanzanian reporters denounced

Media rights watchdog Reporters sans Frontières on Tuesday condemned an attack on two Tanzanian journalists who were beaten and had acid thrown at them.

The Paris-based rights group said assailants attacked Saeed Kubenea, publisher of Swahili weekly Mwanahalisi, and its editor, Ndimara Tegambwage, in their offices in a suburb of Tanzanian commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Mwanahalisi is known for its investigative reporting.

Reporters sans Frontières said the attack was an attempt to silence the journalists, who said the paper had in the past helped unearth scandals in the country.

”This barbaric attack is especially disturbing in a country where it is not customary to use physical violence to try to silence journalists,” Reporters sans Frontières said of the attack, which occurred on Saturday.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Police are investigating.

Tanzanian media reported on Tuesday that Kubenea would be flown to India for treatment, while Tegambwage was discharged from hospital after receiving 15 stitches to his head.

”They fell on us with iron bars,” Kubenea said from a hospital bed. ”They hit me about the head and threw a burning liquid in my face. My colleague, who tried to resist, was also beaten and sprayed before the assailants stole his cellphone.” — Reuters

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