Families whose relatives disappeared and civil society groups took to the streets yesterday to protest extrajudicial killings and abductions.
The families were commemorating the International Day of Enforced Disappearance.
The demonstrations were organised by HAKI Africa human rights group and started from Uhuru Garden to Urban Police Station.
“We demand the truth about our loved ones, stop enforced disappearance,” read some of the placards carried by the protestors.
Human rights groups blame most of the disappearances and abductions on state agencies involved in the fight against terrorism and violent gangs.
The groups also demanded for updates from the police on missing persons.
Coast regional police boss, Noah Mwivanda denied that the police were involved in the disappearances, and accused Non-Governmental Organisations of tarnishing the force’s name.
“We are not going to accept the accusation that the police are involved,” he said.
He appealed to residents with information on the disappearances to record statements with the police.
Haki Afrika executive director, Hussein Khalid, said more than 100 people have disappeared in the past five years in the region.
Mr Khalid accused the police of not doing enough on the matter.
“They are not helping families find their loved ones even when evidence such as registration numbers of the vehicles that took them away is provided,” he said.
During the demonstrations, parents spoke of the pain of not knowing the whereabouts of their children. One of them, Munaa Mbarak, whose 18-year-old son, son, Husni Mbarak was taken by the four men on his way to his father’s garage, said he still hoped to know his fate.
The family of Abdullahi Dzimwenga, aged 40, said it was two years since their kin, a driver, disappeared on his way from work.
“He was taken by people who claimed to be police officers,” said Shehe Khamisi.
The family of Mohammed Khalifa, 26, who was abducted last year, said their kin was taken at Kongowea market.