Tanzanian comedian and Big Brother Africa 2014 edition winner, Idris Sultan has reportedly been arrested for making a mockery of the throwback photo of President of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli in a short video he shared online.
His lawyer Benedict Ishabakaki told BBC on Thursday May 21, that he was accused of contravening the Cybercrimes Act 2015 against cyberbullying.
The law 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.”
Ishabakaki stated that they are now awaiting the arraignment of Idris who has been in police custody for two days and accused of using the internet to harass the President.
“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.”
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
Should he be convicted of the charges which have been leveled against him, Idris faces paying a fine of not less than Tsh5 million or imprisonment for a term of not less than three years or both.
Idris’ arrest has drawn furore on Twitter as users began demanding his release via the hashtag #FreeIdrisSultan.
This however, is 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.