JOHANNESBURG, November 8 – Two South African journalists arrested in Tanzania have been released but their passports have not been returned and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) is trying to get to the bottom of the matter.
Angela Quintal, the Africa programme coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and a former Mail & Guardian editor, and her colleague Muthoki Mumo who is CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative, returned to their hotel in Dar es Salaam at around 3 am Thursday after being released.
They had been arrested by the Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday.
However, the reason for their arrest remains obscure with Dirco saying there was much uncertainty surrounding the arrest. The two women were in the country on a reporting mission for CPJ.
“We don’t know why they were detained, they don’t know why they were detained. The high commissioner protested the whole night,” said Dirco spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya.
Tanzania has come under the spotlight recently with the European Union (EU) examining its ties with the East African country following rising concern over its declining human rights in regard to gays and political dissidents, among other issues.
The EU ambassador to Tanzania was recalled over the weekend for consultations over the matter. (ANA)