Public hearing in the matter of Peter J. Chacha v. United Republic of Tanzania

Arusha, 13 November 2013: The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights will hold a public hearing at its seat in Arusha (Tanzania), from 02 to 04 December 2013, in respect of Application 003/2012 – Peter Joseph Chacha v. The United Republic of Tanzania.

The Applicant, Mr Peter Joseph Chacha, alleges that he was unlawfully arrested, detained, charged and imprisoned contrary to Sections 13(1) (a) and (b) and 13 (3) (a), (b) and (c) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), Chapter 20 of the Laws of The United Republic of Tanzania. According to the Applicant, his alleged unlawful arrest, detention and imprisonment in relation to a criminal case has violated his right under Article 15 (1) and (2) (a) of the Constitution of The United Republic Tanzania. In addition, the Applicant alleges that the police unlawfully seized his property which is a violation of his right to own and protect property. The Applicant states that he has followed up severally with Government agencies and has even filed a case which is yet to be heard.

The Respondent, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, has raised a preliminary objection regarding the jurisdiction ratione materiae. The Respondent contends that the subject matter of the Application does not relate to the application and interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights or any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the United Republic of Tanzania as required by Article 3 (1) of the Protocol and Rule 26 of the Rules of Court. Rather, the application is based on the Constitution of Tanzania as well as national legislation, such as the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) on which the Court cannot adjudicate. The Respondent also refutes the merits of the application concerning violation of the right to personal freedom and to property since Mr Peter Joseph Chacha was arrested and charged with armed robbery and murder, and his property was legally searched and seized in accordance with Section 38 of the CPA pending the finalization of the criminal cases against him.

In his application, Peter Joseph Chacha asks for his release and requests that his property be restored and he be adequately compensated for the alleged damage and loss he has suffered, and other reparation deemed fit. The Respondent wants the Court to strike out the Application .

Peter Joseph Chacha has been in detention at the Arusha Central Prison since 2007. On 30 September 2012, the Applicant filed his Application before the Court against the Attorney General and the Minister of Home Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania on 30 September 2012.

The Applicant is represented by The Pan African Lawyers’ Union while the Respondent is represented by Counsels from the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Members of the public and the media are invited to attend the public hearing at the Court’s premises (Kibo Hall), located in the Phase II, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Conservation Centre (next to TANAPA Office), Dodoma Road, from 02 to 04 December 2013. They can also follow the proceedings live online at www.livestream/afchpr

The hearing will commence at 10.00 AM (local time) and members of the public are invited to be seated by 9:30 AM.

NB: Due to unpredictable circumstances there is no a French version of this information, but once one is available, it will soon be updated on the website, we apologize for any inconvenience.

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