Detained SA journalists "returned to hotel"

Former Mail & Guardian Editor Angela Quintal

The Twitter accounts of two staff of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) who were detained by Tanzanian authorities have been suspended, leading to confusion whether the former Nation reporter Muthoki Mumo and former Mail & Guardian editor Angela Quintal have been released. "DIRCO spokesperson, Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spoke to Ms Quintal this morning", the SA Foreign ministry tweeted on Thursday.

"Further, the journalists' passports and phones need to be immediately returned".

Late Wednesday, authorities in Tanzania detained two top officials of the United States - based Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ.

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.

They were detained on Wednesday by "officers who identified themselves as working with the Tanzanian immigration authority", according to the organization.

"Quintal and Mumo were then escorted from the hotel and have been taken to an unknown location‚" said the CPJ.

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

"The tweet by @angelaquintal was not sent by her", wrote Quintal's niece Genevieve Quintal, also a journalist.

Both Quintal and Mumo's social media accounts have since been deactivated.

The Tanzanian government spokesman however said that they were arrested because they wanted to establish how the two entered the country.

The new regulation gives the government the right to revoke the permit if a website publishes content "that leads to public disorder" and "threatens national security".

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