Tanzanian musician and actress Sister Fey has been arrested for posting explicit videos on her Instagram page.
News of her arrest was announced on Friday by Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Juliana Shonza during an interview with East Africa TV.
She said that Fey was being held at Mabatini police station in Dar es Salaam.
“The process of taking action against Sister Fey has been long,” she said. “There have been many complains from film and music industry stakeholders with many saying that her videos and pictures are too indecent. As deputy minister for the ministry in charge of the arts, I was obliged to take up the matter for the sake of the general public.”
She said that investigations will be completed soon and the singer charged with violating the new online regulation law, which was gazetted on 16 March 2018.
A section of the law states: “The Authority shall have the following powers in regulating online content services – (a) to keep register of bloggers, online forums, online radio and online television; (b) to take action against non-compliance to these regulations, including to order removal of prohibited content; and (c) to conduct public awareness in relation to safe use of online content.”
On the other hand, online content providers are obliged to: “Ensure that online content is safe, secure and does not contravene the provisions of any written law, take into account trends and cultural sensitivities of the general public, use moderating tools to filter prohibited content and ensure prohibited content is removed within twelve hours upon being notified.”
Shonza said that the singer had been warned several times about the explicit online videos and even summoned by the National Arts Council of Tanzania (BASATA).
Shonza took the opportunity to warn those in the creative sector against misusing social media, urging them to be at the forefront of promoting Tanzanian norms and values.
“I would like to ask artists to be very careful with the kind of things they share online. They need to follow the rules that have been laid down by the government.
“If they refuse will continue working with the industry regulator Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority to arrest all of you and the law will take its course.”
If found guilty, Fey will be liable to a fine of not less than 5 million Tanzanian shillings (US$2 189) or to imprisonment for a term of not less than twelve months or to both.
The Tanzanian government has recently been taking legal action against artists employing nudity in their music videos and social media pages. In April, Diamond Platnumz and Nandy were summoned by BASATA after “explicit” videos were posted online. – Music In Africa