Free­dom of speech ac­tivists given pass­ports back

Daily Dispatch - - News - NOM­AHLUBI JOR­DAAN

South African jour­nal­ist An­gela Quin­tal and her Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists col­league, Kenyan Muthoki Mumo‚ who were de­tained by law en­force­ment in Tan­za­nia‚ have been given their pass­ports back‚ the depart­ment of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions said on Thurs­day.

“The High Com­mis­sioner of South Africa in Tan­za­nia‚ Mr Thami Mse­leku‚ has in­formed the Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions‚ Lindiwe Sisulu‚ that pass­ports of a South African jour­nal­ist and that of her Kenyan col­league have been re­turned‚” the depart­ment said.

The depart­ment an­nounced on Thurs­day that Quin­tal and Mumo were re­leased fol­low­ing their de­ten­tion on Wed­nes­day.

Mse­leku‚ ac­cord­ing to the depart­ment‚ has been in­structed by Sisulu to gather all facts around their de­ten­tion and re­port to Pre­to­ria by end of Thurs­day.

“Fol­low­ing meet­ings with the Tan­za­nian au­thor­i­ties this morn­ing‚ the High Com­mis­sioner has in­di­cated that the two jour­nal­ists are now free to leave Tan­za­nia.

“The Min­is­ter thanked High Com­mis­sioner Mse­leku‚ the team at the Dirco 24-hour call cen­tre‚ and diplo­mats from Kenya and Tan­za­nia for re­solv­ing the mat­ter speed­ily.”

Said Sisulu: “We are happy that this mat­ter has been re­solved‚ the two jour­nal­ists have their pass­ports‚ and they can travel to­day.”

Mean­while‚ Mr Gay World Jor­dan Bruno has spo­ken out against Tan­za­nia’s de­ci­sion to crack down on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

Dar Es Salaam’s ad­min­is­tra­tive chief Paul Makonda last week said that a spe­cial com­mit­tee would seek to iden­tify and pun­ish ho­mo­sex­u­als‚ pros­ti­tutes and on­line fraud­sters in the city from this week.

“I find it enor­mously un­for­tu­nate that Tan­za­nia has de­cided to tar­get and at­tack the LGBTQ+ peo­ple of its coun­try through a tar­geted witch hunt.

“The queer com­mu­nity within Tan­za­nia are al­ready marginalised‚ dis­crim­i­nated against and bul­lied‚ so it is dis­cour­ag­ing to hear that the govern­ment wants to cre­ate a task force to en­cour­age th­ese val­ues of ha­tred‚” Bruno said.

He said the coun­try has a duty to pro­tect all its cit­i­zens and en­sure that ev­ery in­di­vid­ual has ac­cess to hu­man rights and is free from dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“As a mem­ber of the LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity‚ I am be­yond dis­ap­pointed to hear what is hap­pen­ing to my com­mu­nity and hope the Queer com­mu­nity can re­main strong and re­silient in the face of ad­ver­sity.

“We call on the Tan­za­nian govern­ment to im­me­di­ately halt this move and take mea­sures to pro­tect the LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity in the coun­try‚ the Tan­za­nian pres­i­dent to con­demn the vi­o­lence and bi­ased acts against LGBTQ+ per­sons and im­me­di­ate in­ter­ven­tion from stake­hold­ers‚ es­pe­cially in­clud­ing the African Union.”

Tan­za­nia ... has in­formed [SA] that pass­ports of SA jour­nal­ist and her Kenyan col­league were re­turned

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