Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Uganda Alert: government official beats-up photo journalist, confiscates his camera

Kampala, 06th/July/2010; Deputy resident district commissioner (RDC) Kanungu district Kasiita Jjuuko assaults the New Vision photo journalist based in Masaka district Dismus Bulegyeya for covering the opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye at the family funeral rite.

Besigye who had been invited by one of the family member Justine Jjuuko an FDC die-hard was also blocked from addressing the gathering at the funeral function which was held last week-end at Kaku village, Mukungwe Sub-county, Masaka district by the RDC Kasiita Jjuuko.

A Resident District Commissioner is appointed by the president as his representative at the district level in Uganda.

HRNJ-Uganda has learnt that RDC Kasiita after receiving information about the attendance of Dr. Besigye, he first chased away journalists saying that it was a family function not for the public.

One journalist (WBS TV correspondent in Masaka) Sadab Kitatta confirmed to HRNJ-Uganda that RDC Kasiita used insulting language and threatened that he would use rowdy youths to beat- up journalists. “Within no minute, Dr. Besigye arrived and we started taking photos. The stick wielding RDC Kasiita jumped out and clobbered Dismus Bulegyeya” Said Journalist Kitatta.

In an attempt to escape the wrath of the RDC, Bulegyeya’s camera was also confiscated. “I sustained bodily injuries as a result of assault and am on treatment and my camera is still in the hands of RDC Kasiita. I have reported the case to police under the case reference number MSK/CDR/2263/2010 and SD/29/3/7/10 MSK” said Bulegyeya yesterday.

Human rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) condemns in strongest term possible the assault of a journalist who was on duty. “We call on the police in Masaka to ensure that RDC Kasiita account for his criminal deeds, failure we shall not hesitate to fight for our space and no one should be above the law” HRNJ-Uganda Programmes coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala said.

Source say that the case has been transferred to Political offences department established three years ago in Uganda police to handle political cases.

For More Information Contact:

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Plot 16 Clement Hill Road Nakasero
P.O.Box. 71314 clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-667627
E-mail: news@hrnjuganda.org
Website: www.hrnjuganda.org
Blog: htpp:/hrnjuganda.blogpost.com

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