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SA journalist Angela Quintal detained in Tanzania

08 November 2018

Two press freedom advocates taken away from their hotel in Tanzania by security officers have been released, a South African government official said on Thursday.

After "a very long night"‚ the department of worldwide relations and co-operation on Thursday confirmed that South African journalist Angela Quintal and colleague Muthoki Mumo had been released after being detained by authorities in Tanzania. "DIRCO spokesperson, Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spoke to Ms Quintal this morning", the SA Foreign ministry tweeted on Thursday.

Tanzanian Authorities took their passports upon arrest, and are yet to return them. "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".

The two staffers were detained in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday evening.

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Ms Quintal is the CPJ's Africa program coordinator while Ms Mumo is the organisation's sub-Saharan Africa representative.

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.

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

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Quintal tweeted before 1am on Tuesday morning that she and her colleague had been released, but Quintal's family raised concerns that the tweet did not sound as if it had come from Quintal whose Twitter account was subsequently suspended. "This shows someone is using her account".

Among the issues is why Quintal and Mumo were detained, and why the authorities still held their passports.

The two were on a reporting mission missing in the country.

"He will then proceed to engage the Tanzania authority".

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SA journalist Angela Quintal detained in Tanzania