Comedian in hot water over online photos
Publish date: 04 November 2019
Issue Number: 848
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Popular Tanzanian comedian Idris Sultan is being held by police after sharing face-swap photos of himself and President John Magufuli. BBC News reports that his lawyer said he was being held under the controversial Cybercrimes Act, which forbids using a computer to ‘impersonate’ anyone. If charged and convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison. The former winner of Big Brother Africa shared two photos on his social media accounts which have more than 5m followers. The caption on his photos read: ‘We swapped roles for a day so that he could enjoy his birthday in peace.’ Dar es Salaam Police Commissioner Paul Makonda then issued a statement saying Sultan ‘doesn’t know the boundaries of his work’. The 2015 Cybercrimes Act has been criticised by human rights activists, who say it infringes on freedom of expression.