Tanzania held its presidential and parliamentary elections in October 2015. Similar to other countries in the sub region, the elections were flawed with reports of the ineffectiveness of the biometric voter registration process leading to disenfranchisement of the electorate.
During this period, legal restrictions were imposed on the right to freedom of expression. The Cyber Crimes Act (2015), which was adopted in April 2015 contains vague provisions that criminalise sharing “false or misleading” information online. The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition filed a petition against the Cyber Crimes law challenging the contentious provisions. The first hearing of the petition was on 10 February 2016.
Freedom of expression
On 18 March 2016, Salma Said, a female journalist from Zanzibar was forced into a car by unidentified men and driven to an unknown place where she was confined in a room. She was severely assaulted and warned against reporting on the elections in Zanzibar. She was released on 20 March after being dropped off from the place where she was abducted.
On 16 January 2016, the Tanzanian Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports announced the government decision to ban Mawio, a weekly investigative paper. Simon Mkina, the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper was also brought in for questioning by the police, along with his assistant editor Jabir Idrissa, for undisclosed reasons.  This is not a unique occurrence, and in late 2013, Tanzania suspended a daily newspaper, Mtanzania, for 90 days and another daily, Mwananchi, for 14 days.
Human rights defenders
On 29 October 2015, Tanzanian Police raided the offices of Legal and Human Rights Centre, the secretariat of the Tanzanian Civil Society Consortium on the Election Observation (TACCEO) and confiscated electronic equipment including computers and mobile phones. Thirty six staff members were arrested but later released on bail. They were arrested for collecting and disseminating election results contrary to the Election Act.
 Annual Report 2015/2016, Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/tanzania/report-tanzania/
 “Tanzania Bans Paper, Detains Editor” The Media Project , 19 January 2016 http://themediaproject.org/article/tanzania-bans-newspaper?page=full,
“Tanzania: Arrest of 36 Human Rights Defenders At TACCEO Election Observation Centre” Protectionline 4 November 2015, http://protectionline.org/2015/11/04/tanzania-arrest-38-human-rights-defenders-tacceo-election-observation-center/ Accessed 27 March 2016