New York — The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed indignation at statements from Tanzanian authorities and South Africa's foreign minister justifying the detention of CPJ's Africa team in Dar es Salaam on November 7.
Officials from both countries falsely claimed CPJ's Africa program coordinator Angela Quintal and sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo were in Tanzania without proper visas when they were detained and interrogated. In fact, both were traveling on valid visas, as part of a fact-finding and networking trip to better understand local press freedom conditions.
"Having debriefed with our Africa program coordinator Angela Quintal and sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo about their detention, we are outraged by their treatment at the hands of Tanzanian authorities," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Both had valid visas, so we have concluded that the intention of Tanzanian authorities was to harass and intimidate our team. CPJ is also disappointed that, after all South Africa did to assist the team on the ground, its foreign minister would now repeat falsehoods about their detention."