South African journalist Angela Quintal and her Kenyan colleague Muthoki Mumo were arrested in Tanzania because they were working while in the country on tourist visas.
This was the explanation the Tanzanian government gave to Minister of International Relations Lindiwe Sisulu – a reason she says she is satisfied with.
During a press briefing on South Africa's foreign policy in Tshwane on Monday, Sisulu said Quintal and Mumo held a meeting with local journalists where they were interviewed and asked about their views on several things.
In terms of Tanzanian law, this constituted work even though Quintal and her colleague were in the country on tourist visas, Sisulu added.
The minister thanked the High Commissioner of South Africa in Tanzania Thami Mseleku, who worked overnight to have the two released, and appealed to all South African journalists abroad to comply with their host country's laws.
Quintal and Mumo - who work for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) - were arrested last week at their hotel in Dar es Salaam. They were released a day later.
Their travel documents were initially withheld, but later returned to them.
While detained, it also appeared that Quintal's social media accounts were deactivated.
In a statement, the South African National Editors' Forum said they were "deeply disturbed" about the "worrying detention" and questioned why authorities had taken Quintal's phone.
CPJ executive director Joel Simon said Quintal and Mumo had travelled to Tanzania to understand the challenges faced by the Tanzanian press and to inform the global public.
He added it was therefore deeply ironic that through their detention, Tanzanian authorities had made their work much easier.
"It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear and intimidation," Simon said.
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