Tanzanian comedian, Idris Sultan in court after laughing at President Magufuli

A Tanzanian comedian, Idris Sultan, has been arraigned before a magistrate's court in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, eight days after he was arrested.

Former Big Brother Africa Winner Idris Sultan Arrested

A police spokesperson told the BBC that Sultan will be charged with cybercrimes offences, tampering with evidence and using a Sim card registered in someone else’s name.

Idris Sultan was arrested last week Tuesday, after a video which went viral on social media showed him laughing at an old photograph of President John Magufuli wearing an oversized suit.

Sultan’s lawyer, Benedict Ishabakaki, said his client was accused of violating the Cybercrimes Act and bullying the president.

Many social media users re-shared the video with the hashtag #FreeIdrisSultan and used his photo as their profile picture to show their solidarity.

A digital rights advocate, Maxence Melo in a tweet said “We must promote & support artistic freedom and creation (innovation) as a part of participatory democracy.”

In 2019, Sultan was arrested after sharing a face-swapped image of himself and President Magufuli.

His detention has become the latest reminder of digital regulation laws that rights activists have described as harsh and infringing on freedom of expression.

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