On 22nd February 2018, land rights defender Godfrey Luena was violently killed outside his house by unknown assailants who in Morogoro region in Tanzania.
Godfrey Luena was a land rights defender in Namwawala village in the Kilombero District of Morogoro region. He worked as a human rights monitor for the Legal and Human Rights Centre and as a monitor against the illegal appropriation of land in his community. The human rights defender had been subjected to multiple arrests, judicial harassment and intimidation due to his work defending land rights and he later continued this work as Namwawala Ward Councillor.
On 22nd February around 9pm, unknown assailants intentionally cut off the electricity in Luena’s house which obliged him to go outside in order to check the problem. Once outside, the group of assailants attacked him with machetes which caused his immediate death.
It is important to underline that though Luena was subject to various intimidation and numerous threats, this did not dissuade him from doing his work. Godfrey was also a member of Tanzania’s main opposition party Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) and was the second party member to be killed in a fortnight.