Tanzania frees CPJ staff Muthoki Mumo, Angela Quintal

Former Nation Journalist Muchoki Mumo

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) on Thursday called on the worldwide relations department to ensure local journalist Angela Quintal and her colleague Muthoki Mumo's passports were returned immediately. "The high commissioner, [Thami] Mseleku, is meeting with them to understand the events of last night‚" department spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said.

"We continue to engage with our Government of Tanzania counterparts on a wide range of issues, including those related to human rights", read a statement from the State Department adding that it remains committed to values od democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression among others.

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.

They were detained on Wednesday by "officers who identified themselves as working with the Tanzanian immigration authority", according to the organization.

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"Further, the journalists' passports and phones need to be immediately returned. Taken Away from Southern Sun Hotel". The officials searched the pair's belongings and would not return their passports when asked.

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.

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. taken to an unknown location".

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