Tanzania reveals why it detained CPJ staff

Kenyan journalist Muthoki Mumo and CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal who were arrested in Dar es Salaam on November 7. /COURTESY

Kenyan journalist Muthoki Mumo and CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal who were arrested in Dar es Salaam on November 7. /COURTESY

In a tweet sent from her account, Quintal, a former editor and now Africa Programme Coordinator at Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) appeared to allay fears by confirming that she and Muthoki Mumo, who is sub-saharan Africa representative for CPJ Africa had been released and were on their way back to the hotel they were staying in.

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.

"South Africa's High Commissioner Mr Thami Mseleku is meeting with them to discuss last night's [Wednesday] events".

However, on Thursday morning, Ndhivo Mabaya, spokesman for South Africa's foreign ministry, told AFP that "they were both released".

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, "a false tweet saying they had been released was sent from Quintal's personal Twitter account and repeated attempts were made to access Quintal's email". We don't know why. Simon noted in particular the assistance of the South African and Kenyan governments.

Tanzanian Immigration Department spokesperson Ali Mtanda said Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo were arrested for violating the terms of their visas by holding meetings with local journalists.

The two officials of worldwide press rights group, Committee to protect Journalists, CPJ; have been freed by Tanzania's immigration authorities. They were eventually released by the authorities to their hotel in Dar es Salaam but their passports were withheld.

The two staffers were detained in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday evening.

The officials - reportedly from Tanzania Immigration authority are said to have searched the pair's belongings and would not return their passports when asked.

"Quintal and Mumo were then escorted from the hotel and have been taken to an unknown location‚" said the CPJ.

The journalists were detained on Wednesday by Tanzanian immigration officials while on a reporting mission for the CPJ.

Press freedom has come under attack in Tanzania under the administration of President John Magufuli.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details emerge.

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