(CNN)A prominent journalist's arrest in Tanzania has sparked widespread anger and renewed concerns over press freedom in the country.
Police on Tuesday said investigative journalist Erick Kabendera was detained as part of an inquiry into his Tanzanian citizenship.
"We are holding him (Erick Kabendera) for questioning because authorities are doubting his citizenship. We are communicating with the immigration department for further measures," Regional police commissioner Lazaro Mambosasa told reporters at a news conference.
He said they had invited the journalist for questioning several times, but he did not show up.
Kabendera was "forcefully removed" from his home on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam capital by plainclothes security men on Monday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
CPJ said it was concerned about Kabendera's safety and his arrest was evidence that journalists were no longer safe in Tanzania.
"The manner in which this journalist was taken, by men claiming to be police, is very ominous and further evidence that the press is not safe in President John Magufuli's Tanzania," said Muthoki Mumo, CPJ Sub-Saharan Africa Representative.
Tanzanian government spokesman Hassan Abbas said journalists face no threat in the country, and they are free to do their work unless they breach the law.
"Journalism as a profession in Tanzania enjoys its constitutional and legal guarantees; that's why we have more than 5,000 media practitioners countrywide; we have more than 220 print media, over 35 TV and over 160 radios. All these perform their duties freely unless there is breach of media accountabilities,"Abbas said.
Abbas said police were only interrogating the journalist to know whether he is a Tanzanian citizen and if he was living legally in the country. It is not known where authorities think he's from.
"He is under interrogation not for his journalistic work. Under the laws of Tanzania like any other country, the Police has a legal duty to interrog