Thursday, June 24, 2010

Police officer charged with assaulting a photo journalist

Kampala, 24/06/2010: Buganda Road Court has charged Sgt. Mundu Mohamed with two counts of common assault and malicious demage of property (camera) of the Daily Monitor photo journalist Yusuf muziransa.

Prosecution alleges that during the 9th/06/2010 rally organised organised by Inter party Coalition at Clock Tower in Kampala, Sgt. Mundu, a 37 years of bukenje Luwafu parish Makindye Division assaulted Muziransa who was taking photos of stick wielding men and police beating up opposition leaders including the Forum for Democratic change (FDC) president dr. Kiiza Besigye.

Although Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) welcomes the prosecution of Sgt. Mundu but we demand for punitive actions be taken against errant officers namely: Bugiri ditrict police commander Owino Julius, Criminal Investigating officer Salongo James Lubambo, Junior intelligence officer Ben Tumugabirwe for ulwaful arrest and detention of the Daily Monitor correspondent Asuman Musobya, Laban Muhabwe who has harassed and and attacked journalists while covering demonstrations among other officers. "Police should not shield big personalities and sacrifice small ones with in the force if we are to end impunity. All acts that undermine press freedom and other other human rights should be condemned by government" said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey wokulira Ssebaggala

Appearing before Grade One magistrate Buganda Road Court Rwabusheshe Francis, Sgt. Mundu denied the charges and he was remanded to Luzira prison until tomorrow 25th/06/2010

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 / +256-701-810079
or log on our website:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Journalists'case fails to take off

By HRNJ-Uganda News Team

A case in which two journalists Kalundi Robert Sserumaga and Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala sued the Broadcasting Council for unlawful dismissal has failed to take off. The journalists' lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi disclosed that he was informed by the Justice Musoke Kibuuka's chamber about his abscence. This is the second time when the case failed to take off

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo journalist assaulted, camera destroyed

By HRNJ-News Team

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is concerned about the increasing incidents of lawlessness that target journalists who are at work.

HRNJ-Uganda a network for human Rights journalists, which defends and promotes the right to freedom of expression and the media, has noted that such targets are not only horribly carried out by security agencies whose powers are not statutory based and mandates not known but also police whose responsibility to keep law and order.

While anti riot police and stich-wielding men commonly known as Kibooko Squad in an attempt to stop opposition political party under Inter-Party Coalition from holding a rally at Clock Tower on Wednesday 9th/June/2010, police arrested and battered the Daily Monitor photo journalist Yusuf Muziransa for taking photographs of police brutal attacks on the opposition political parties supporters.

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president general Dr. Kiiza Besigye and other leaders of the Inter-party Coalition who were demanding for disbandment of the Electoral Commission were alo beaten up by the same group.

Mr. Muziransa who had covered the beatings for around thirty minutes was confronted by a police officer identified as Mundu and demanded that he should vacate the venue. "Its unfortunate that police and security apparatus have taken upon themselves to regulate which stories should be covered by the media. Such acts are iullegal and must stopped forthwith" HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala demanded.

"I identified myself to police as a photojournalist with the Daily Monitor but they insisted that I should leave and hit my camera and it fell down. An officer Mundu kicked and slapped me. As a result I fell down which bothered colleagues at the scene and they intervened" Muziransa narrated the ordeal.

well as it's the duty of police to guide demonstrations, police must understand that no institution or individual has a right to control to control news scenes or movements of journalists. Therefore, such acts of assaulting a journalist and damaging his tools of trade are unjustifiable in a democratic country.

We demand for investigation into Kibooko (stick-wielding men) squad how it came into force, under whose command and te level immunity to harass innocent people under the watchful eyes of police.

HRNJ-Uganda ask the Inspector general of police through professional standards unit to investigate the officer called Mundu and be punished failure police will be held accountable for promoting lawlessness in the country.

We further condemn such attacks against journalists and call on police to serve the people of Uganda not the interests of the state.

For more Information Contact;

Humna Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Plot 16 clement Hill Road Nakasero
P.o.Box. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-667627 / +256-701-810079

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CSOs Communique at the Review conference of the ICC


We, members of Civil Society Organizations who have gathered here in Kampala, Uganda, for the International Symposium on the Stocktaking Process convened at the Hotel Africana, Kampala on 27 – 28 May 2010 by the Human Rights Network of Uganda (HURINET-U), the Uganda Coalition on the International Criminal Court (UCICC), and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-Africa Program), in an effort to enhance the participation of civil society in the upcoming Review Conference in Kampala from May 31 - June 11, 2010;
Recognising the important role played by civil society in the adoption of the Rome Statute and its entry into force:
Acknowledging that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an important mechanism for ending impunity of grave crimes of international concern, which include war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide:
Affirming State Parties obligations to hold perpetrators of international crimes accountable and to provide victims with a right to remedy and redress:
Recalling that the jurisdiction of the ICC is complementary to national jurisdiction under the Rome Statute and that State Parties therefore have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute crimes of international concern:
Reaffirming that State Parties have the responsibility to create environments within which the ICC can carry out independent, impartial investigations and respond effectively to the needs of victims and affected communities, particularly vulnerable women and children:
Conscious of the need to strengthen the capacity and willingness of national judicial systems to fulfill their primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute international crimes:
Mindful that victims and affected communities are the ultimate beneficiaries of both peace and justice:
Determined to continue working towards an independent and impartial International Criminal Court:
Welcomes the Review Conference of the Rome Statute and the issues to be discussed, including stocktaking on issues of complementarity, cooperation, the impact of the Rome Statute system on victims and affected communities, peace and justice; and the definition of the crime of aggression:
We therefore respectfully make the following recommendations:
On the Impact of the Court on Peace and Justice, States should:
On the Impact of the Rome Statute on Victims and Affected Communities, States should:
ß Advance and enhance mechanisms to promote peace building and conflict prevention, in which the ICC can play a part, and support the emerging norm of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) as a means of focusing these efforts.
ß Take into account the historical, political, and social context of crimes when making decisions on the relationship between peace and justice in any given situation and on what kind of justice will be relevant in order to simultaneously advance peace and justice.
ß Take appropriate steps to manage interactions between peace and justice.
ß Consistently uphold their obligations as States Parties to the Rome Statute and their obligation to be accountable to their own citizens, and to consult them fully before instituting investigations.
ß Support the ICC in bringing greater clarity and transparency to the process employed in making prosecutorial decisions, including the preliminary analysis, the determination of the gravity of crimes, and the selection of charges in relation to the interests of victims.
ß Support the ICC in developing a consistent policy on how to promote victims’ participation and respond to victims’ interests and expectations.
ß States should support the ICC to conduct effective, responsive, and responsible outreach initiatives at the earliest possible stages of investigations.
ß Allocate further resources to the ICC’s Outreach Unit to enable the court to provide effective justice to victims and affected communities.
ß Undertake national information campaigns to complement the ICC outreach activities.
ß Incorporate victims’ provisions, including those related to reparations (all types), as well as those related to protection and support, participation, information, and legal representation, into national laws.
ß Ensure that those provisions are implemented fully and that the necessary resources are allocated for that purpose. For example, victims’ offices, victims and witnesses units, and national trust funds should be created. Victims and affected communities should be fully involved in these processes.
ß Ensure that Victims are treated with respect, have their right to dignity recognised, and have their views and concerns heard, in the various processes they are involved in. Particular attention should be paid to ensure that women, children and victims of gender- based violence, minorities, and victims with disabilities, among others are also meaningfully involved.
ß Enable their national judiciaries to try perpetrators of serious crimes not covered by the ICC jurisdiction (for example, those committed before the entry into force of the Rome Statute).
ß Provide political and financial support for the ICC to implement a comprehensive policy on intermediaries between victims and the ICC.
ß Support civil society groups especially those working closely with victims and affected communities, including protection from intimidation and threats from governments and non-state actors.
ß Make generous and regular contributions to the Trust Fund for Victims, and encourage others with the capacity to do so to also contribute.
ß Fully implement cooperation requests for tracing, freezing, and seizing of assets belonging to alleged perpetrators.
ß Ensure that best practices are shared among States which have already developed capacities, especially on reparations and protection programmes, among other relevant areas.

ICC's independence questioned in President Bashir's indictment

By Venex Watebawa

A team of lawyers under an organisation Sudan International Defence Group are saying that the ICC indictment for President Bashiru is a colonial deal aimed at ending the current regime.

The lawyers also say that the victims of the Darfur region are selective and discriminative doubting the creditability of the investigating judge Moreno Ocampo whom they accuse of being a mouth piece of the sort.

As the ICC Rome statute review comes to conclusion at Munyonyo, the Sudanese community in the UK are saying that it’s selective of the war crimes occurring around the global adding that the ICC finds African developing countries as soft targets.

Addressing the press in Kampala, a researcher at the Sudan International Defence Group Stephen Morris said that the indictment of president Bashir is a game of regime change by developed countries.
They said that victims purported to testify at the ICC are currently living out of Sudan and some are not Sudanese nationals asserting that the investigation is discriminative and carefully calculative.

It was noted that the indictment of a seating president itself diver states the citizens and therefore aimed at humbling African president senior legal officer of the SIDG sir Geoffrey Nice said.

The ICC indictment is at the moment influencing the African Union to start isolating the Sudanese president from participating in activities that are aimed at solving African problems adding that its a new form of neo-colonialism.

See full statement;

African Solutions for Africa

A proposal by Sudan International Defence Group

During the RCSR conference SIDG has become aware of the increasing pressure by the ICC and its CICC supporters le and to influence the African Union (AU). The ICC is expecting great efforts to increase its control in Africa specifically in the matter of the President of Sudan, the elected Head of State of the largest African nations.

SIDG fully accepts despicable and grave crimes were committed by both sides of the Darfur conflict. There is however an overwhelming body of academic legal certainly that the crimes eventual description they were not genocide.

SIDG has openly been critical of the government of Sudan in not gathering and engaging with the investigation of these crimes to a standard acceptable to the United Nations. However it must be said, the ICC and especially the CICC’s own conduct has stigmatised the Sudanese people and soured the relationship between the Sudan government and the UN at precisely the moment years of goodwill should have counted. Therefore the Sudan has shut down its former good relations with UN bodies.

Regime Change

The outcome of the issuing of the arrest warrant at the insistence of the Prosecutor of the ICC has been to destabilise the developing democratic process and internal politics of the Sudan.
Sudan is not and does not wish to be a one party state. External N/ICC pressure may implode that political landscape with consequences for all its previously friendly neighbours.
Sudan is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. In twenty five years it has gone from acute shortages to being a major exporter of essential foods and materials. Future industrial development is being jeopardised by political sanctions and ill will from pressure outside of Africa.

Sudanese opposition parties have been seduced by the sympathy of the ICC and the coalition for the ICC (CICC) away from the hard work of electioneering and policy politics. The Sudan is attempting to aid the reconstruction of its opposition parties into modern policy driven advocates. Sudan’s politics has advanced to meet modern economic realities while maintaining its ancient religious and social customs. Sudan political thought has moved to the centre between the political extremes. ICC and CICC know nothing of this nor care to listen. Their evangelical legal theology is the Kampala conference entirely escapes them.
The ICC’s demand that African states take action against Sudan’s Head of State is an attempt at regime change by world federalists and sets African nation against African nation. This cannot be allowed as it would set a dangerous precedent for the future of Africa’s politically developing countries.

African Solutions

During the 20th century Africa was a bystander in a series of world wars between European, American and Asian nations that saw the slaughter of in excess of 50 million people. They now wish to impose their own solutions to those conflicts on a continent that has never sunk to such levels of barbarity. Africa can and must develop its own African solutions.

Modernisation of Africa

The need for modern technology to exploit African resources with overseas investors goes beyond mutual cooperation into intellectual legal intrusion. The ICC and its coalition in essence claims Africa is unable to take full responsibility and action for its own legal development and remedies. They have gone beyond the mandate of advising into demanding dangerous actions. This review conference is overwhelmed by lawyers deciding the legal outcomes for African nations regardless of the potential severe internecine repercussions to those nations.
Africa Unite

At this ICC review conference there is time for AU delegates to decide to unite to prevent disastrous consequences arising out of the ICC’s UN mandate in Africa’s affairs and cultural sensitivities. The role and status of AU must be strengthened in Africa to create its own policies for African solutions. Africa must assert its authority over its intellectual legal future and be prepared to work together in that cause. The upcoming AU Summit in Kampala, Uganda is the place to discuss this matter before an ICC/CICC inspired humanitarian disaster occurs;-
African Union well qualified requests to amend the Statute of Rome should be paramount, granted gracefully and respectfully supported by the UN security Council

African Control

The ICC has allowed its ever expanding staff, budget and Coalition ICC to carry the Statute of Rome into areas never envisioned by the United Nations Mandate. Statements by ICC’s campaigning prosecutor demanding increasing powers of prosecution over African elections, journalists and political party apparatus heralded by the CICC demonstrates its desire to remove political control from Africa to New York and the Hague’s global law offices. The ICC’s global networking unit, the grotesquely well funded CICC has ruthlessly exploited the media and its smaller dependent GOs to pejoratively describe Africa as a disjointed collection of failed states in need of legal resuscitation. The UN has inadvertently allowed the ICC to expand its mission and mandate without realising the CICC is colonising every NGO on the planet. The UN is rapidly losing command and control of its ICC creation. Africa must resist this denationalisation of its rights to self determination and self-image.

Asserting the right of African nations in an African legal framework to resolve its conflicts must be a priority for the AU. The AU must be allowed to freely create its own solutions. Free of threats and promises, free of time limits and conditions imposed regardless of the stage of political development of each AU nation. This is Africa’s greatest legal challenge. The one size fits all legal theology of the UN/ICC does not fit the complex and developing political structures of Africa.

African Solutions Africa Action

SIDG is aware that the AU has already considered and is discussing an amendment to statute of Rome that no sitting Head of State may be prosecuted by the ICC. There may well be unresolved legal precedents for this concept and they need to be explored.

SIDG considers this amendment to be a matter of urgent national security for the Sudan in the context of the ICC’s demand for AU nation’s aid to affect an arrest of its popular and democratically elected president. No African Nation should be put in the dangerous position of being held responsible for threatening the Head of a neighbour state. He cross boarder tribal allegiances would be ignited and exploited by sinister forces. The ICC’s worthy call for justice for victims that the SIDG supports would in this demand for removing the Sudan head of a state create a severe breakdown in civil order of unimaginable magnitude. The power vacuum caused by the forcible removal or death of any head of state has been the cause not the solution of civil war. The possibility of regime change by UN/ICC now completely engages the political considerations of many countries opposition groups.

The amendment is vitally important in the context of the Sudan, AU states and many other nations which are developing their own legal frameworks and political solutions to prevent conflicts. Rather than the AU nations being forced into conflict with each other by the ICC, the AU must unite to serve their peoples with governance that reflects their ancient legal cultures, developing political awareness, permanent legal frameworks, access to justice, and progress to ordered civil society without influence from the ICC or any global movement with secret political ambitions.

African Union Senate

SIDG unilaterally proposes that all African heads of state that wish to further serve Africa after their service to their own nation end be elevated into an African Senate of the AU.
These experienced elders should be afforded the role of African statesmen and given ambassadorial and advisory roles inside Africa to maintain their dignity and status in perpetuity for their years of dedication and service to the African continent. This is plainly and unambiguously an exist strategy for African heads of state. If there are legal even pragmatic strategies for doing this it may well solve a problem of elder leaders clinging too long to power.

African Decisions

SIDG has made these proposals in the expectation that the AU Summit in Kampala will be able to engage the UN in discussions that will avoid a tragedy

Monday, June 7, 2010

Masaka based journalist attacked

By HRNJ-Uganda News Team

Kampala 07th/June/2010; unidentified people attacked Central Broadcasting Service (CBSfm) reporter Dick Ssenyondo based in Masaka, Southern region on his way home and sustained serious injuries.

Despite CBS being off air following the government clack down on private radio stations last September, staffs continue to suffer direct attacks and harassments from both government and individuals. Since its closure, Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has documented three CBSfm staffs who have been subjected to different violations namely; James Mukiibi Sserunjogi who was shot at by Presidential Guard Brigade, Moses Kasibante who was arrested and tortured by Kalangala Action Plan and Dick Ssenyondo.

CBS fm owned by Buganda Kingdom one of the largest kingdoms in Uganda was switched plus other three private owned radios but it has remained closed.

Ssenyondo explained that he was confronted by four unidentified plain-clothed men while at Kijjabwemi village, a Masaka town suburb on his way home at 8pm who hammered him up. “Rescuers identified me on way who lashed me to the hospital” Ssenyondo said.

A case was opened at Masaka police station under case reference number Msk/SD/25/25/5/2010.

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 / +256-701-810079

Friday, June 4, 2010

Former Vice President sues News Paper

By HRNJ-Uganda News Team
Former vice President Dr. Specioza Wandera Kazibwe has dragged the Independent Magazine to court claiming damages arising from the alleged defamatory article published in the magazine issue 105 on 28th/April/2010. The article in question carried a story under title “Kazibwe squanders SACCO’s (President Museveni’s Prosperity for All Project) 300 million shillings leaving Busoga region poor”

The Independent Magazine started by journalist Andrew Mwenda two years ago is one of the few private news papers operating in Uganda. Mwenda the managing editor of the Magazine has more than 20 cases before court.

The story which was carried on the front page of the magazine in full color with Kazibwe’s portrait, further exposed Kazibwe’s wrong deeds while holding different public offices particularly in 2003 when she was a minister in-charge of Agriculture and she caused a loss of 4 billion shillings to the people of Uganda in the failed Valley Dam project.

The 300 million shillings allegedly embezzled was meant for raising standards of the People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Busoga region.

Through her Lawyer Nile Law Chambers Advocates and Solicitors, Kazibwe argued that the story portrayed her as a corrupt, dishonest, and incompetent who is unfit to head the Microfinance project, adding that the article allegedly accused her for frustrating President Museveni’s Prosperity for All.

She’s seeking permanent injunction restraining the Magazine from further publication of defamatory articles.

Early 2000, Kazibwe was paid tax payers money 2.5 billion shillings to sturdy in Harvard University upon being left out in the cabinet she was then serving as the vice president and was appointed presidential advisor on Micro finance after she returned two years ago.
High court civil division gave Independent magazine a deadline of 15 days to file its defense.

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 / +256-701-810079

Oil Company demolishes houses, plantations

More than 16 families have been left to gamble with survival as Dominion Oil Company contracted to extract oil in Nakabungo-B LC1 bordering with Queen Elizabeth National Park demolishes two houses and plantations worth millions of shillings.

The demolition exercise which started effectively 22nd/April/2010 has left cassava, maize, and rice plantations destroyed causing fear for food shortage in the area. The affected families are allegedly living on customary land and victims have not compensated.

Dominion Oil Company is also extracting oil in Arua Block 2 and Block 4 respectively.

The company targets Rwensama village, Kikalala parish, Bwambala Sub County Rukungiri District to be the drilling site for the oil project in the area.

Sources revealed that each affected family has been given kilos of beans and maize flour in terms of compensation and announcements have been going on radio Kinkizi.

However, spokes person Dominion Oil Company Andrew Nyakana said efforts to compensate victims are underway. “A government team was taken to the ground to assess the impact of the loss but they have not given us the actual figure to pay them off” Nyakana said, once the process is concluded victims will be paid in two weeks.

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 / +256-701-810079