Australian campaigner for ex-Muslim women charged in Tanzania

Zara Key was summoned to a police station in Tanzania on 28 December and has had her passport confiscated, according to her Twitter.

Australian Zara Kay has been arrested and charged in Tanzania.

Australian Zara Kay has been arrested and charged in Tanzania. Source: Twitter

An Australian campaigner for ex-Muslim women has been arrested and charged in Tanzania, with supporters calling the charges politically motivated. 

According to a petition page set up in her support, Zara Kay was summoned to Oyster Bay Police Station in the East African nation's largest city Dar Es Salaam on 28 December, where she was held for 32 hours and questioned about her organisation's campaigning and why she left Islam. 

Ms Kay is the founder of Faithless Hijabi, an organisation supporting women who have been abused for leaving Islam. 

According to the supporter's page, she was bailed and has had her passport confiscated. 

She is said to be facing three charges, including making a satirical post critical of the President of Tanzania's handling of coronavirus, failing to return her Tanzanian passport when she received her Australian one, and using a SIM-card not registered in her name. 

The social media posts were made in May when Ms Kay was living in London.

She is due to report back to the police station with her lawyer on 5 January. 

Ms Kay has been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and supporters say she was hospitalised with related symptoms after her arrest.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to ABC News they were providing consular assistance to an Australian national in Tanzania but declined to provide any further information, citing privacy. 

With AAP


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Published 3 January 2021 at 5:32pm
By Jarni Blakkarly