Local EU Statement on Religious Intolerance
The EU Delegation condemns all recent acts of violence against religious leaders, and most recently the murder of Fr. Evarist Mushi on Sunday 17 February in Zanzibar. The EU Delegation offers its condolences to their families and all the religious communities who have been affected by recent acts of violence. The EU Delegation calls upon the authorities to undertake a full investigation into the killing of the Catholic priest and to continue their investigations into previous attacks on Muslim and Christian leaders and bring those responsible to account.
Freedom of religion or belief is a universal human right which needs to be protected everywhere and for everyone. Religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence have been a hallmark of Tanzanian society. The EU urges religious communities to make every effort to refrain from violence and to keep up the spirit of tolerance and respect of other people’s beliefs and to resolve any differences through dialogue.
The EU Delegation calls upon the Government of Tanzania and the Government of Zanzibar and all stakeholders to support a process of open dialogue between Muslim and Christian communities, to take all necessary measures in order to prevent further incidents and to act against those who seek to spark violence, with full respect for international human rights norms.
The Embassies of Norway and Switzerland associate themselves with this statement.
In Dar es Salaam on 18 February 2013