Journos didn’t ‘follow rules’
Following an international outcry and negative media headlines in the wake of the arrest of South African and Kenyan journalists, Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo respectively, the Tanzanian authorities have attempted to justify their detention, claiming they misrepresented their intentions for visiting, The Nation reported yesterday.
Quintal and Mumo are with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The two were detained on Wednesday by immigration officials while on a reporting mission for the CPJ. They were eventually released to their hotel in the capital, Dar es Salaam, but their passports were withheld.
Following an outcry, including from the US state department and the intervention of South Africa’s department for international relations and cooperation (Dirco), their passports were returned and the women were allowed to leave the country.
The crux of the immigration department’s defence was that the journalists, on arrival, did not inform immigration officials that they were in the country to carry out a journalism investigation and that prior to calling local journalists, they should have first called the authorities.
Immigration spokesperson Ally Mtanda said officials had arrested the two women and questioned them, adding: “They arrived in the country on October 31, 2018, through the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam and they said the purpose of their trip was a normal visit.
“However, our officials established that they started holding meetings with local journalists and that’s contrary to the conditions of their entry permits.”
Mtanda said “if they were intending to hold meetings with journalists, then they should have called the relevant authorities before they started doing those activities”.
Confirming Quintal and Mumo had safely left Tanzania, CPJ executive director Joel Simon urged the Tanzanian authorities “to halt their ongoing crackdown against a free press. Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo travelled to Tanzania to understand the challenges facing the Tanzanian press and to inform the global public.
“It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear of intimidation.” – ANA
If they were intending to hold meetings with journalists, then they should have called the relevant authorities. Ally Mtanda Immigration spokesperson