Sanef says arrest of Angela Quintal and colleague worrying

Muthoki

Muthoki

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.

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

"We continue to engage with our Government of Tanzania counterparts on a wide range of issues, including those related to human rights", the State Department said in a statement Wednesday.

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

Their communication devices were also taken away and used to relay falsified information.

CPJ believes that their colleagues' electronics might have been compromised since a tweet was sent from Quintal's account stating that they had been released but no one has contacted them directly from the organisation. We don't know why.

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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".

While they are no longer in custody, Mabaya said Tanzanian authorities have their passports.

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.

Reporters Without Borders, a pressure group, ranked Tanzania 93rd out of 180 countries worldwide in its 2018 World Press Freedom Index, down 10 places from the previous year.

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