The two journalists who were arrested by Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday violated their visa conditions, the country’s Immigration Department has said.
CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo, a Kenyan, and Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator were picked from their hotel in Dar es Salaam, taken to a secret location and questioned for several hours before being released.
Tanzania’s Immigration Spokesperson Ally Mtanda said the duo violated their stated purpose of visit to the country.
“They arrived in the country on October 31, through the Julius Nyerere International Airport, in Dar es Salaam and they said the purpose of their trip is a normal visit,” Mtanda said.
“However, our officials established that they were holding meetings with local journalists and that’s contrary to the conditions of their entry permits,” he added.
Mtanda said officials from the immigration department taught them on complying with the entry permit conditions before releasing them.
He said the duo should have contacted the relevant authorities if their intention was to hold meetings with journalists.
“The entry permits forbid employment or business activities. If they want to engage themselves in anything more than a normal visit then they have to request appropriate permits,” Mtanda said.