February 11, 2011
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda
Tel: 256-41-343 311
Fax: 256-41-346 102
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), an independent non-governmental institution committed to promoting and defending freedom of expression, is concerned about the detention of Masaka based NTV Uganda correspondent Issa Aliga by the Special Forces Group (the bigger presidential protection unit SFG) for filming a scuffle involving Rwemiyaga area Member of Parliament Theodore Ssekikubo ahead of President Museveni’s campaign rally.
According to Human Rights Network of Journalists (HRNJ), the scuffle ensued after SFG blocked MP Ssekikubo from pinning his banner, 300meters away from Mr. Museveni’s campaign venue. Ssekikubo is an incumbent MP for Rwemiyaga County seeking re-election on the National Resistance Movement-Organization part chaired by Museveni.
Aliga was reached at Rwemiyaga trading center in Ssembabule district at around 11:15pm. While filming he was roughed up and man-handled by four Special Force Guards personnel who confiscated his camera. He was pushed here and there on accusation of filming an event without permission. He was taken to their bus and interrogated for some minutes. After interrogation, he was released and his pleas to get his camera back fail on deaf ears. He was then ordered to go through the usual security checks and attend a campaign rally like any other voters. His mobile phone was also switched off.
PPF condemns such an inhumane treatment of a journalist in the strongest term possible and urges the government to investigate the matter and bring those responsible to justice in the shortest period of time possible.
I thank you for your attention and will welcome your comments.
Owais Aslam Ali
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)
Shahrah Kamal Ataturk
Tel: +92 21 3263-3215
Fax: +92-21 3221-7069