Two journalists were detained in Tanzania on Wednesday, with no indication given as to why they were taken from their hotel room.
Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo were in Dar es Salaam on a fact-finding mission with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), when officers who identified themselves as working with Tanzanian immigration entered their hotel room and confiscated their passports, according to a release from CPJ.
“@muthokimumo and I are being taken for interrogation by Tanzanian authorities and we don’t know why? #DarEsSalaam @SAPresidentPR @CPJAfrica @pressfreedom,” Quintal tweeted at around 10:30 PM local time.
Quintal serves as CPJ’s Africa program coordinator; Mumo is the group’s sub-Saharan Africa representative.
A few hours later, a tweet went out from Quintal’s account that read “God is great we are released going back to our hotel.”
But according to CPJ, there’s no evidence that Quintal was actually released.
“We have no indication that the tweet was sent by Angela and have reason to believe her device may have been compromised,” Courtney Radsch, advocacy director with CPJ, told BuzzFeed News in an email. “Our sources indicate they remain in detention, and we have not been in contact with either of them.”
Quintal’s Twitter account has since been suspended. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to why the account had been taken down.
It is currently unclear why Mumo and Quintal were detained. CPJ has not provided details about what the two were investigating in Tanzania. An email to the Tanzanian Police Force about the detention was not immediately answered.
A spokesperson for Tanzania’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation told News24 that he was trying to gather more information about what had happened.
“We are concerned for the safety of our colleagues Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo, who were detained while legally visiting Tanzania,” Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director, said in a statement. “We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports.”