South African journalist Angela Quintal detained in Tanzania

Kenyan journalist Muthoki Mumo and CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal who were arrested in Dar es Salaam on November 7. /COURTESY

It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear of intimidation.

After "a very long night"‚ the department of worldwide relations and co-operation on Thursday confirmed that South African journalist Angela Quintal and colleague Muthoki Mumo had been released after being detained by authorities in Tanzania.

"We believe that the detention of journalists is a direct and unsafe threat to media freedom and access to information".

They were detained by Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday night for reasons that remain unclear.

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

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

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The pair, Angela Quintal - CPJ's Africa program coordinator, and Muthoki Mumo - its sub-Saharan Africa representative were detained in their hotel rooms in Dar es Salaam, Quintal said.

Officers who identified themselves as working with the Tanzanian immigration authority detained Quintal and Mumo when they arrived at their hotel room. The officials took their passports, phones and computers.

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) called on the government to find answers as to why Quintal and her Kenyan colleague were detained in Tanzania.

"After arresting them and educating them, we released them the same day..."

The US State Department was "closely following" the case, a spokesperson told CNN Wednesday.

Since his election three years ago, Tanzania's President John Magufuli has cracked down on independent media, closing down critical newspapers, while rights groups have protested against the imposition of restrictive laws on freedom of expression.

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