Tanzania releases journalists Muthoki Mumo, Angela Quintal

Tanzanian immigration authorities detained CPJ Sub Saharan Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo left and Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal in Dar es Salaam on November 7

Detained SA journalists "returned to hotel"

Two press freedom advocates taken away from their hotel in Tanzania by security officers have been released, a South African government official said on Thursday.

The Department of worldwide relations and cooperation says South African journalist Angela Quintal and a colleague returned to their hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in the early hours of this morning. They were allowed back to their hotel after several hours of questioning. "The High Commissioner and his Kenyan diplomats will continue to engage with Tanzanian authorities until the passports are returned and all the facts have been established around the arrest", Dirco said.

"It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear of intimidation", said Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director.

Mumo is CPJ's Sub-Saharan Representative while Quintal is the African Program Coordinator at the organisation and previously was the Editor of Mail & Guardian.

According to Mr Mtanda, the immigration spokesperson, the journalists were later briefed on what procedures to comply with when they enter Tanzania and the permit conditions to adhere to.

He said that "if they were intending to hold meetings with journalists, then they should have contacted the relevant authorities before they started doing those activities". "We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports", he added.

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"After arresting them and educating them, we released them on the same day".

Rights groups and media advocates have expressed concerns about the freedom of expression in the country.

Mr Balile said conversations underlined the disappearance of a journalist Azory Gwanda.

Quintal sent a message Wednesday from her verified Twitter account saying she and her colleague were "being taken for interrogation by Tanzanian authorities and we don't know why?"

CPJ had earlier demanded for the release of the journalists, as well as other media stakeholders.

Quintal and Mumo had safely left the country after their detention, the group said.

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