Freed journalists have safely left Tanzania, CPJ says

Former Mail & Guardian Editor Angela Quintal

Former Mail & Guardian Editor Angela Quintal

Sanef has called on Tanzanian authorities to return Mumo and Quintal's passports as "a matter of urgency" and allow them to leave the country at their own free will, saying, "We need to urgently find out the reasons behind this detention". "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", said Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director.

South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said the two journalists are back in their hotel.

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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.

Quintal is a respected South African journalist and former editor of the Mail and Guardian newspaper‚ now working for the media freedom group based in America.

Simon commended the attention brought to the case by "journalists, media and press freedom organizations, and government officials", and noted that the South African and Kenyan governments were of particular assistance. "It is deeply ironic that through their unjustified and abusive detention of our colleagues, Tanzanian authorities have made their work that much easier".

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"Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo travelled to Tanzania to understand the challenges facing the Tanzanian press and to inform the global public", said the CPJ boss. "We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports", he added. "Quintal and Mumo were then escorted from the hotel and. taken to an unknown location".

Earlier on, Quintal's sister Genevieve Quintal faulted information shared through her Twitter account, saying that it was shared by Tanzanian police.

Both Quintal and Mumo's social media accounts have since been deactivated.

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Tanzanian immigration authorities detained CPJ sub-Saharan Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo and Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal in Dar es Salaam on November 7.

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