Journalists threaten to boycott police coverage

Photo by Katumba Badru

Crime reporter journalists have threatened a boycott on police activities over the security institution’s brutality against pressmen.

The move brought on Thursday, comes after police clobbered journalists during Kabaka’s birthday run and on Thursday morning at the police headquarters in Naguru.

At Naguru, police denied journalists access to the facility where the police disciplinary committee was set to announce its ruling on the cases of Assistant Superintendent of police Police-ASP Muhammad Kirumira who was the former DPC for Buyende district hence causing the fracas.

In the scuffle, counter terrorism police, badly roughed journalists, damaging their gadgets. The scenes angered journalists who decided to boycott covering the security instituition in protest for their rights.

“Fellow journalists, I move that we boycott all police functions in the coming days, we can’t be giving publicity to this evil force that appears left with only brutality instincts,” twitted Sabiti Joseph, a reporter with NBS Television.

Mukasa Dodovico, a Journalist with Delta TV, said: “Starting with next Monday no journalist should attend police press briefings”.

Journalists every Monday are usually invited by police to cover their press briefings at Central Police Station – CPS in Kampala. But on numerous occasions, journalists have been brutally handled by policemen when covering sensitive events.

However, the newly appointed Inspector General of Police -IGP Okoth Ochola while speaking to parliamentary security committee  on Thursday said that the tribunal is allowed under the law to “exclude the press or the public from all or any proceedings before it for reasons of morality, public order or national security, as may be necessary in a free and democratic society.”

The IGP said he doesn’t overlook assaulting Journalists, and advised those who were clobbered to seek redress since assault is a criminal act which should be tried in Courts of law.

“An assault is a criminal Act; whoever assaults a journalist commits a crime which has to be investigated,” Ochola said.

According to the recently released world trends in media freedom of expression and media development global report 207/2018 at Makerere University,  indicates that between 2012 -2016 over 530 journalists were killed meaning that at least 2 journalists lost their lives per week in such police brutality.




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