Text: H.Res.1120 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/17/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
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[H. Res. 1120 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
H. RES. 1120

  Urging the Government of Tanzania and all parties to respect human 
rights and constitutional rights and ensure free and fair elections in 
 October 2020, and recognizing the importance of multi-party democracy 
                              in Tanzania.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 17, 2020

   Ms. Bass (for herself and Mr. Smith of New Jersey) submitted the 
 following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign 
                                Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
  Urging the Government of Tanzania and all parties to respect human 
rights and constitutional rights and ensure free and fair elections in 
 October 2020, and recognizing the importance of multi-party democracy 
                              in Tanzania.

Whereas the United States has an important interest in supporting democracy in 
        Tanzania and has consistently demonstrated support for the Tanzanian 
        people through efforts to advance good governance, economic growth, and 
        improved access to health and education resources;
Whereas Tanzania has held successive multiparty elections since 1995, with the 
        elections in 2015 being the most competitive to date, despite facing 
        substantial State interference in political organizing, both during and 
        following the campaign period;
Whereas since President John Magufuli's election in 2015, the Government of 
        Tanzania has adopted and enforced multiple repressive laws that restrict 
        freedom of the press, and of expression, assembly, and association, 
        including the Cybercrimes Act of 2015, the Media Services Act of 2016, 
        the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 
        Act of 2018, the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 3) Act, 
        2018, and the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act No. 3 of 2020;
Whereas the Government of Tanzania has actively undermined independent 
        collection, dissemination, and publication of statistics without 
        government approval, and suspended or halted activities by multiple 
        newspapers and digital and broadcast media outlets for publishing 
        content deemed critical of the State or officials;
Whereas State or State-sponsored actors have threatened, arbitrarily arrested, 
        and attacked journalists with impunity, some of whom have disappeared;
Whereas in mid-2016, the Magufuli Government placed a ban on political party 
        rallies until the 2020 elections, political freedoms were further eroded 
        following the amendment of the Political Parties Act in January 2019, 
        and private opposition political party meetings have been broken up by 
        police;
Whereas freedom of association has been limited through arbitrary and mandatory 
        registration and reporting processes for nongovernmental organizations;
Whereas, in September 2019, the Government of Tanzania amended both the 
        Companies Act and Nongovernmental Organization Act, which have severely 
        restricted the ability of civil society organizations working on 
        democracy and human rights to receive foreign funds;
Whereas opposition leaders have been threatened, intimidated, and physically 
        attacked, and the government has failed to hold perpetrators 
        accountable;
Whereas President Magufuli's lack of action to hold Tanzanian authorities 
        accountable for arbitrary arrests, paired with actions to limit 
        democratic space for civil society, the opposition party, and citizens 
        of Tanzania has undermined the Constitution and rule of law in the 
        country;
Whereas the United States companies operating in Tanzania have reported 
        harassment, corruption, and lack of respect for contracts and business 
        operations, which threatens future United States business investment and 
        trade partnerships; and
Whereas the Government of Tanzania's denial of the existence of COVID-19 in the 
        country and suppression of information related to the pandemic has not 
        only placed citizens' health at risk, but has also violated citizens' 
        freedom of speech and right of access to information: Now, therefore be 
        it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) urges the Government of Tanzania to ensure that the 
        2020 election is carried out in a free, fair, credible, 
        transparent, and peaceful manner that enables Tanzanian 
        citizens the opportunity to exercise their right to vote;
            (2) urges the Government of Tanzania to legally guarantee 
        and respect the rights enshrined in its constitution, notably 
        with respect to the right to freedom of movement, expression, 
        information, religion, and association, as well as equality, 
        privacy, and personal security;
            (3) urges the Government of Tanzania to foster a business 
        environment conducive to continued United States trade and 
        investment in Tanzania, including respect for the rights of 
        United States companies operating in Tanzania;
            (4) calls upon the Government of Tanzania and President 
        Magufuli--
                    (A) to repeal repressive laws that are contrary to 
                the principles of good governance, a healthy democracy, 
                and the rights enumerated in the Tanzanian 
                Constitution;
                    (B) to allow citizens, civil society organizations, 
                and political parties to assemble peacefully and 
                express their views freely;
                    (C) to immediately lift the ban on political 
                activities to allow opposition parties to hold 
                political rallies and demonstrations at any time, both 
                during and outside of election periods;
                    (D) to provide transparent, consistent, and 
                nonintrusive procedures for nongovernmental 
                organizations to register and to enable them to carry 
                out programs and other legal activity absent arbitrary 
                state interference;
                    (E) to safeguard press freedom, in accordance with 
                the Tanzanian Constitution and the Universal 
                Declaration of Human Rights; and
                    (F) to condemn threats and attacks against Members 
                of Parliament and opposition political parties, and 
                ensure accountability for harassment, intimidation, or 
                physical attacks on members of the opposition; and
            (5) calls on the United States Government to continue to 
        engage on democratic backsliding in Tanzania and hold the 
        Government of Tanzania accountable for respecting the rights of 
        its citizens in accordance with its international obligations 
        and the Tanzanian Constitution.
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