SA journalist Angela Quintal detained in Tanzania

Former Nation Journalist Muchoki Mumo

"Sanef calls on government to quickly resolve the worrying detention of South African journalist Angela Quintal and her colleague‚ Muthoki Mumo‚" Sanef chair Mahlatse Gallens said.

Other freedoms are also under pressure, with a powerful Dar-es-Salaam official last week announcing an anti-gay witch-hunt to track down people suspected of engaging in homosexuality, which is illegal in Tanzania under British colonial-era laws.

Tanzanian authorities have freed two CPJ journalists Muthoki Mumo and Angela Quintal who were arrested yesterday. We need to urgently find out the reasons behind this detention.

A South African news site, News24, reported that a tweet had been sent from Ms Quintal's account appearing to allay fears by confirming that she and Ms Mumo had been released but her family claimed that someone else may have been in possession of her phone. "We believe the arbitrary detention of journalists is a direct and risky threat to media freedom and access to information".

Mumo is CPJ's Sub-Saharan Representative while Quintal is the African Program Coordinator at the organisation and previously was the Editor of Mail & Guardian.

The officials - reportedly from Tanzania Immigration authority are said to have searched the pair's belongings and would not return their passports when asked. "They have been taken to an unknown location", read the tweet.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), through its Twitter account, called on the Tanzanian authorities to immediately release the two members of the committee and return their passports.

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

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