Monday, May 3, 2010

Uganda media under attack by law of rule regime

The world press Freedom Day in Uganda has been marked when the media is being gagged, media houses shuttered down, journalists harrassed by police, judicial sanctions employed against journalists and direct attacks from all corners of the society inluding Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) among others.

The day has come when one journalist on remand on charges of treason, more than 30 journalists are in court on flimsy charges and more than ten have pending charges at the Media Offences Department established by Uganda Police Force to monitor media on daily basis and prefer charges against journalists. "Such attacks and violations indicate that journalists and the media are destined for tougher times ahead of 2011 general elections" Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) programmes Coordinator G.W.Ssebaggala said. Because impunity is on rampant, we call upon journalists to report abuses committed against them in order individual perpetrators be held accountable for their actions before courts of law.

In the meantime, Information and guidance minister Kabakumba Matsiko insists that the media in Uganda can not regulate its self. Speaking at the conference to mark the 2010 World Press Freedom Day at Golf Course hotel Matsiko said there's evidence that some media houses would operate in a way that would be a recipe for incitement, chaos, anarchy and a breeding ground for genocide. Last year five private owned radio stations were closed on allegations that they incited violence and 18 journalists were sacked under duress.

Activities to mark the day included a procession by media organisations code named Article 29 coalition. It ended with a particular meeting at the Railway ground on Jinja road among others

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