“Is this sanction proportionate?” The diplomatic response to attacks on media freedom in Tanzania

We’ve seen a display of unity from eight embassies / ambassadors / high commissioners to Tanzania today, responding the suspension of The Citizen newspaper with a series of tweets:

https://twitter.com/ItalyinTanzania/status/1101104538331820034
https://twitter.com/HCSarahCooke/status/1101121171372888067
https://twitter.com/PeterVanAcker2/status/1101125386723831808
https://twitter.com/GermanyTanzania/status/1101135625112170498
https://twitter.com/SwedeninTZ/status/1101153086213636097
https://twitter.com/sjoberg_a/status/1101154427245867008
https://twitter.com/DKAmbTanzania/status/1101158069562720257

My favourite is the Dutch Ambassador, for injecting a little variety:


https://twitter.com/Verheul_Jeroen/status/1101151106061733888

They all ask the same question: Is this sanction proportionate to the offence purportedly committed?

I have two reactions to this. First, can I suggest a more proportionate response that the government could have deployed? This might do: “We recognise the issue you’ve raised, we’re monitoring the value of the shilling and are ready to intervene as needed, thanks for keeping us on our toes.”

And second, I have a question for the diplomats. When a respectable newspaper is suspended for publishing info that’s already publicly available along with reasonable comments by recognised economists, your response is a coordinated series of gently-worded tweets. So I ask you: is this sanction proportionate?