South African journalist Angela Quintal freed‚ after night in detention in Tanzania

Frederick Owens
November 9, 2018

The Tanzanian authorities have freed former Nation Media Group journalist Muthoki Mumo and former Mail & Guardian editor Angela Quintal who had been detained in unclear circumstances.

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.

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

The crux of Tanzania's immigration department's defence was that the women on arrival in the country never informed immigration officials that they were there to carry out a journalism investigation and that prior to contacting local journalists they should have first contacted the authorities.

Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told News24 that he had called Dirco's operations room and was contacting South Africa's ambassador in Tanzania.

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Quintal tweeted before 1am on Tuesday morning that she and her colleague had been released, but Quintal's family raised concerns that the tweet did not sound as if it had come from Quintal whose Twitter account was subsequently suspended. We don't know why. "The Kenyan High Commission is also following up the case".

Sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo and Africa Programme coordinator Angela Quintal who are detained in Tanzania. "We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports", he added.

This after appealing for help on social media, saying they had been taken for interrogation by the Tanzanian authorities. They were eventually released by the authorities to their hotel in Dar es Salaam but their passports were withheld.

The Tanzanian government spokesman however said that they were arrested because they wanted to establish how the two entered the country.

"Quintal and Mumo were then escorted from the hotel and have been taken to an unknown location‚" said the CPJ. As the International Press Institute reported in August: "Press freedom in Tanzania has drifted into an unprecedented crisis under Magufuli's regime".

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