SA journo Angela Quintal, colleague "released" without passports

Muthoki

Muthoki

Sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo and Africa Programme coordinator Angela Quintal who are detained in Tanzania.

This is according to department of worldwide relations and cooperation spokesperson (Dirco) Ndivhuwo Mabaya.

Quintal‚ now working for the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)‚ was detained at her hotel in Dar es Salaam with her CPJ colleague on Wednesday evening.

Other freedoms are also under pressure, with a powerful Dar-es-Salaam official last week announcing an anti-gay witch-hunt to track down people suspected of engaging in homosexuality, which is illegal in Tanzania under British colonial-era laws.

The Department of global 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.

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"We believe that the detention of journalists is a direct and unsafe threat to media freedom and access to information".

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 believe the arbitrary detention of journalists is a direct and unsafe threat to media freedom and access to information". South Africa's High Cmmissioner to Tanzania Mr Thami Mseleku is set to meet them and discuss about the events and then engage with the country's authorities.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), through its Twitter account, called on the Tanzanian authorities to immediately release the two members of the committee and return their passports. "Quintal and Mumo were then escorted from the hotel and. taken to an unknown location".

"We are concerned for the safety of our colleagues Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo‚ who were detained while legally visiting Tanzania‚" said Joel Simon‚ CPJ's executive director.

Tanzanian Authorities took their passports upon arrest, and are yet to return them.

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