It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear and intimidation. The officials searched the pair's belongings and would not return their passports when asked. They were in the country on a reporting mission for CPJ, the body said in a statement. "It is deeply ironic that through their unjustified and abusive detention of our colleagues, Tanzanian authorities have made their work that much easier".
Quintal is Africa programme co-ordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Muthoki Mumo is CPJ's sub-Saharan Africa representative.
Following an worldwide outcry and negative media headlines in the wake of the arrest of South African journalists, Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Tanzanian authorities have attempted to justify their detention claiming the two misrepresented their intentions for visiting Tanzania, the Nation reported Friday.
Mtanda said Quintal and Mumo were free to stay on in Tanzania as long as they heeded the terms of their 90-day visa.
According to a statement released by CPJ: "Officers who identified themselves as working with the Tanzanian immigration authority detained Quintal and Mumo in their hotel room in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this evening, according to Quintal".
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A few hours earlier, Quintal sent out an SOS on both Facebook and Twitter saying she and Mumo were being taken to an unknown location for interrogation.
Their arrest attracted worldwide condemnation from the media fraternity, civil society and US State Department officials.
Former Mail & Guardian editor Angela Quintal is safe and is back at her hotel after being detained by Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday night, the Department of International Relations has confirmed.
"Their questions focused on wanting to know the level of freedom of media in the country", he said. But her family took to social media to state that the message was not sent by Quintal while the CPJ called on Tanzanian authorities to immediately release its staffers.