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Detained CPJ staffers released in Tanzania

View of central Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
View of central Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Daniel Hayduk/AFP/Getty Images

This statement was originally published on cpj.org on 8 November 2018 and is an update to a previous statement.

The Committee to Protect Journalists today welcomed the release of Angela Quintal, CPJ's Africa program coordinator, and Muthoki Mumo, CPJ's sub-Saharan Africa representative, from detention in Tanzania and called for Tanzanian authorities to halt their ongoing crackdown against a free press.

Quintal and Mumo were detained yesterday at their hotel in Dar es Salaam by immigration and security officials, taken to an unknown location, and interrogated about their work. They were allowed back to their hotel after several hours of questioning. Their passports were seized and only returned midday today. During their detention, Quintal and Mumo's phones and computers were also seized. While they were detained, a false tweet saying they had been released was sent from Quintal's personal Twitter account and repeated attempts were made to access Quintal's email. The two CPJ staff members have now safely left Tanzania.

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon expressed gratitude and appreciation to journalists, media and press freedom organizations, and government officials who spoke out about Quintal and Mumo's detention. Simon noted in particular the assistance of the South African and Kenyan governments.

"Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo traveled to Tanzania to understand the challenges facing the Tanzanian press and to inform the global public," Simon noted. "It is deeply ironic that through their unjustified and abusive detention of our colleagues, Tanzanian authorities have made their work that much easier. It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear of intimidation. We call on the government of Tanzania to allow journalists to work freely and to allow those who defend their rights to access the country without interference."


(Below is the original statement published by CPJ on 7 November 2018)

Authorities in Tanzania should immediately release Angela Quintal, Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Muthoki Mumo, CPJ's sub-Saharan Africa representative, and return their passports, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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. The officials 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. They were in the country on a reporting mission for CPJ.

"We are concerned for the safety of our colleagues Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo, who were detained while legally visiting Tanzania," said Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director. "We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports."

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