Activists Tito Magoti and Theodory Giyani were released by Tanzanian authorities on January 5, more than a year after their dramatic arrest on money laundering charges.

According to Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC), an advocacy organization in Tanzania, Magoti who is a human rights lawyer and Giyani who is an information technology expert had gone missing for five hours on December 20, 2019, before police revealed that they had been arrested for economic crimes including money laundering.

The activists had been vocal critics of the regime and Magoti had openly tweeted in support of known dissenters. Their arrests led to public outcry and a hue outpouring of support from international humanitarian organizations like Amnesty International. Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Eastern Africa, had at that time demanded their immediate release saying, “It is outrageous that the Tanzanian government continues to abuse the criminal justice system by detaining critics on unbailable offences for weeks and months on end under the guise of investigating cases. This is an outright abuse of due process of the law and a perversion of justice.” He had added, “The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Tito Magoti and his co-accused Theodory Giyani and live up to their national and international obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil everyone’s civil and political rights.”

Their case was postponed 26 times before their entered into a plea bargain.

On Tuesday, LHRC tweeted that the duo had been released on bail of TZS 17,000,000 (approximately USD 7,500).

*Feature image courtesy LHRC.