Saturday, March 26, 2011

Photo journalist assaulted in the court premises by a district councilor

Kanungu, 21st/March/2011; Patson Baraire, the news editor of Kinkizi Fm and Freelance Journalist with the New Vision has been assaulted in court premises by the councilor elect of Kanungu town council Emmy Magezi Byarugaba. He was covering a court case in the chief magistrate’s court.

Kinkizi Fm is owned by Amama Mbabazi, the Security Minister and Member of Parliament for Kinkizi West constituency.

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that Baraire is the second person to be assaulted by Byarugaba after he allegedly assaulted some individuals during the local council elections.

“I attended a court session on 18th/March/2011 where Byarugaba and his friend Godfrey Karabeda are facing assault charges. When the case was adjourned I stepped quickly out to take photos of the suspects. I took the first one and as I tried to take another photo, Byarugaba jumped to grab my camera. When he missed it he started boxing me and I took a refuge at police opposite the court where the case was reported” said Baraire

An eyewitness told HRNJ-Uganda that Byarugaba accused Baraire of taking his photos without his permission in the court premises. Adding that he was bitter about what the media has been airing since he was taken to court.

Baraire sustained bodily injuries and he was rushed to Kihihi health center IV where he received treatment.

“A number of journalists have been physically attacked during the election period we are concluding and the organs responsible to enforce the law have the burden to bring all perpetrators of violence to justice before it’s too late. Failure such institutions will be partly accountable for the growing level of impunity in Uganda” Said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala

HRNJ-Uganda challenges the Kanungu district Resident State Attorney to quickly sanction the charges since police has concluded its investigations into the matter.

For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road – Mengo Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Pre. School
P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627

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