Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Tanzania frees two members of CPJ journalists' advocacy group

Muthoki Detained SA journalists "returned to hotel"
Ellis Copeland | 09 November, 2018, 13:02

Following an worldwide outcry and negative media headlines in the wake of the arrest of South African journalists, Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Tanzanian authorities have attempted to justify their detention claiming the two misrepresented their intentions for visiting Tanzania, the Nation reported Friday.

In the meantime, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation is trying to establish what has happened.

South Africa's High Commissioner Thami Mseleku is meeting with the pair to discuss the details of their arrest.

"It is unclear whether the Tanzanian authorities have taken Quintal's phone".

Soon after their detention, an uncharacteristic tweet was sent from Quintal's Twitter account - reading "God is great we are released going back to our hotel" - raising fears that someone had accessed her electronic devices. We don't know why.

According to Mabaya, there are a number of issues that the South African High Commissioner will be bringing to the Tanzanian authorities.

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It said in a statement that officers, who identified themselves as working with the Tanzanian immigration authority, detained Quintal and Mumo in their hotel room.

Quintal is Africa programme co-ordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Muthoki Mumo is CPJ's sub-Saharan Africa representative. "We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports".

The journalists were detained on Wednesday by Tanzanian immigration officials while on a reporting mission for the CPJ. Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo say they were taken from their hotel room and had their passports seized.

"The two CPJ staff members have now safely left Tanzania", said Mr Simon in a statement.

Quintal and Mumo were detained yesterday at their hotel in Dar es Salaam by immigration and security officials, taken to an unknown location, and interrogated about their work. "One paper made a decision to suspend publication itself after publishing a story it feared might irritate officials.There have also been more violent incidences of harassment".

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