Behind bars without charge

Maxence Melo, founder of JamiiForums, has been detained by police and spent the night at central police station without charge. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

One of the founding fathers of social media in Tanzania spent the night behind bars without charge.

Maxence Melo, founder of popular online hangout JamiiForums, was detained Tuesday (December 13) after allegedly refusing to surrender sensitive user data to police.

Speaking to the Citizen, Melo’s lawyer Benedict Ishabakaki says police claim Melo has failed to appear in a court case filed against Jamii Media.

Ishabakaki says his client is unaware of such a case.

“We don’t have any charge laid, we don’t have any information. He’s just being held,” says his business partner Mike Mushi.

Mushi says it’s likely Melo will be charged today, Wednesday, December 14.

Melo is outspoken opponent of parts of the Cybercrime act and says he ‘fights surveillance by working to build secure platforms for open debate.’

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