Detained CPJ staffers released in Tanzania

Detained CPJ staffers released in Tanzania

The officials searched the pair's belongings and would not return their passports when asked, according to Quintal.

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?" "They were supposed to get a separate permit for that", he said.

"It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear of intimidation, " he noted.

Following an worldwide outcry, including from the US State Department, and the intervention of the Department for global Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), their passports were returned and the women were allowed to leave the country.

Muthoki Mumo and colleague Angela Quintal who were arrested yesterday in Tanzania have benn released and are now at the South African embassy in Tanzania. "The Kenyan High Commission is also following up the case".

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.

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Mtanda said Quintal and Mumo were free to stay on in Tanzania as long as they heeded the terms of their 90-day visa. "We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports", he added.

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.

Both of their social media accounts were suspended after the dubious post on Quintal's account.

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon expressed gratitude and appreciation to journalists, media and press freedom organizations, and government officials who spoke out about Quintal and Mumo's detention.

Since his election three years ago, Tanzania's President John Magufuli has cracked down on independent media, closing down critical newspapers, while rights groups have protested against the imposition of restrictive laws on freedom of expression.

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