Tanzanian artist accused of burning president's picture released

Tanzanian artist accused of burning president’s picture released

A Tanzanian portrait artist who was convicted last week of cybercrimes has been released from prison after social media users raised more than $2,000 to pay his fine.

Mr Shadrack Chaula was ordered by a court to pay the fine or face two years in prison after he admitted recording a video that went viral on social media, showing him burning a picture of President Samia Suluhu Hassan while insulting her.

“Thank you very much fellow Tanzanians for coming to my rescue,” Mr Chaula told journalists shortly after his release on Monday.

Police said they arrested him for using “strong words” against President Samia in the TikTok video he recorded in Ntokela village near the south-western city of Mbeya.

When he appeared in court last Thursday, Mr Chaula was charged with spreading false information about the president, contravening the country’s cybercrime laws.

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