Thursday, December 2, 2010

Journalist under police harassment

Kampala, 23rd/Nov/2010; A journalist working with Uganda Record, an online publication in Uganda is under police harassment over the July 11th Kampala bombs story.

Mr. Timothy Nyakahuma Kalyegira was summoned to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) on the 3rd/August/2010 over a story about the possible Kampala bombers in July 2010. He was grilled for hours at the Kiira road CID police station. He had his house searched, laptop confiscated and his cell phones taken away by the police.

More than 80 people died during and after the bombings at Kyadondo Rugby Club- Lugogo and the Ethiopian village located at Kabalagala, a Kampala Suburb.
On August 20th, 2010 Nakawa Court issued an injunction barring journalists from reporting details of Police investigations into the bomb blasts. This injunction was applied for by Police.

The Anti-Terrorism Act, 2002 states that any person who establishes, runs or supports any institution for promoting terrorism, publishing and disseminating news or materials that promote terrorism is also liable to suffer death upon conviction.
Kalyegira was charged on 3rd/Aug/2010 with sedition at police before the constitutional court nullified the case. He has since perpetually been kept reporting at the police to extend his police bond.

On August 25th, 2010 the Constitutional Court declared the law on sedition null and void. The five Judges including Justice Leticia Kikonyogo, Justice Steven Kavuma, Justice George Egwau, Justice Constance Byamugisha and Justice Augustine Nshiime nullified sections 39 and 40 of the Penal Code, Cap. 120, which define and establish the law on sedition.

He has reported for more than 14 times, but no conclusive investigations have been made to clear him or prosecute him.

He first reported on 4th/Aug/2010, and continued to report as follows;

19th/Oct/2010 and he continue to report and appear before Kiira Road CID boss Prudence Haguma.

“This is persecution at its best. Why would you keep someone perpetually in police without pronouncing yourself on his fate? Kalyegira gave his opinion which should not be used to persecute him unless the police had enough information to prosecute him.” HRNJ-Uganda Board chairman Robert Ssempala said.

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda has given Uganda Police force a deadline of seven days to either withdraw the charges against Kalyegira or take him to court.

In the meantime, on 30th/11/2010 the state withdrew charges against 17 suspects who had been facing charges of terrorism, murder and attempted murder. They were released by the Nakawa court chief magistrate Deo Ssejjemba.

For more information contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda
Kivebulaya Road Mengo –Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Pre. School
P.O.Box: 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-667627 / +256-414-272934

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