Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (indoja-U) has noted, yet again, with great concern, the continued TARGETED ATTACKS, high-handedness, and wanton brutality meted on journalists while on their lawful duties.
On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, several journalists working for various media houses were brutally beaten and badly injured by military police while covering National Unity Platform (NUP) and former presidential candidate, also Kyadondo East MP Ssentamu Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine as he presented a petition to the UN Human Rights Office in Kololo, Kampala.
Among those badly injured are; John Cliff Wamala (NTV), Geoffrey Twesigye and Irene Abalo of Nation Media Group, Shamim Nabakooza (Record TV), Henry Ssekanjako, Timothy Murungi (New Vision), Rashida Nakaayi (Galaxy FM), Josephine Namakumbi, Joseph Sabiiti (NBS TV) and Thomas Kitimbo (NBS TV). Also badly beaten were some of Kyagulanyi’s party members and supporters who had accompanied him.
We also noted that security confiscated some equipment from targeted journalists while others were simply maliciously damaged with intent to destroy evidence of brutality.
We welcome the latest timely intervention by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen.David Muhoozi who promised to investigate and punish all yesterday’s individual security personnel that carried out the heinous acts, which put Uganda in bad light Internationally and continue to reverse all the tourism sector efforts and successes. We still have faith in the leadership of the well-deserved CDF that he will indeed act on his errant officers and give us full accountability on the same, as this will give us guidance on our next action. We have no doubt in his integrity and capabilities in keeping his word.
indoja-U, an association that brings together online media in Uganda takes these as serous attacks on the press freedom and freedom of expression, not only against the media, but the general public atlarge. We appeal to all security agencies in Uganda to restrain themselves from acts that violet the Rights and Freedoms of not only the press, but all Ugandans.
Security is here by reminded that journalists world over shoulder a pivotal and social contract role with the public, to collect, filter and feed them with information to enable them make informed choices, because we all know, that an informed society is an empowered society.
We grief with all the affected persons and wish them a quick recovery.
Andrew Irumba Katusabe
President Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (indoja-U)
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