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TAEF Statement on the Detention of Journalists in Tanzania

08 November 2018

The African Editors Forum today condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the detention by the Tanzanian authorities of media freedom activists Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo.

Quintal and Mumo were taken in for questioning by the Tanzanian authorities and released five hours later without their passports.

Their passports were returned to them following an intervention by the South African government. They are now free to leave Tanzania.

In the absence of any explanation about the need and cause of the detention of the two journalists, TAEF views the action by the Tanzanian security forces as intimidation and an assault on media freedom.

TAEF has for long been concerned about the deterioration of media freedom, amongst other freedoms, within Tanzania. We commend the South African government for their action which secured the release of the passports of Quintal and Mumo. We also appreciate the steps that have been taken to get the Tanzanian government to explain the reasons for their actions.

Quintal, a former editor of The Mail and Guardian, The Witness and  The Mercury is also a former council member of the South African Editors’ Forum. She is now Africa Programme Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Mumo, a Kenyan journalist, is the sub-Saharan representative of CPJ.

TAEF commends the work done by the Tanzanian Editors Forum to locate and assist Quintal and Mumo. TAEF also supports the solidarity statement issued by the South African National Editors Forum as well as the actions taken by the South African government to assist Quintal and Mumo in ensuring their safety.

TAEF reiterates it’s call that Africa needs strong, free and independent media to act as a watchdog over public institutions.

“Media freedom is a basic human right as well as an indispensable constituent of democracy in every African country. Citizens in all African states will not be free until all media on the continent is free. Nations of Africa need a free media so that it can provide them with information that would enable them to take an informed decision about their lives. Governments across the continent, who have pledged to uphold freedom of the media must walk the talk and stop harassing and detaining journalists and editors for doing their work,” said TAEF chairperson Jovial Rantao.


For more information please contact: 

Jovial Rantao – TAEF Chairperson  +27 (0)824466008