Saturday, April 9, 2011

Journalist charged under an abolished law.

Mpigi, /7th/April/2011; Court in Buwama has charged Central Broadcasting Services CBSFM) journalist Yoweri Musisi under publishing false news law which was nullified by the highest court in the land.

The Supreme Court Judge J.N. Mulenga in 2004 declared the law on publishing false news unconstitutional saying that it was exerting unacceptable chilling effect on the freedom of expression.

The law on publishing false was challenged by Charles Onyango Obbo and Andrew Mujuni Mwenda in 2002.

Musisi 37, a resident of Nabusanke, Nkozi Sub county Mpigi district on 24th/March/2011 appeared before Buwama Grade II magistrate court and charged with publishing false news. He entered a plea of not guilty.

Musisi was on 19th/March/2011 arrested and detained at Buwama police station. He has been on police bond which was granted to him following the intervention of Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda).

Prosecution alleged that Musisi on 08th/March/2011 published false statement likely to cause fear and alarm to the public contrary to section 50 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 120.

“It’s unfortunate that individuals in justice institutions decided to use illegitimate laws under guise of bringing justice. I think such an act is intentional to criminalise the work of the media and persecute Musisi in Uganda” said HRNJ-Uganda Board Chairman Robert Ssempala

HRNJ-Uganda condemns in the strongest term possible the use of unconstitutional laws under guise of bringing justice.

We are petitioning the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to quash the charges against Musisi and set him free unconditionally.

Musisi was release on a non cash bail and required to report back on 28th/April/2011
According to the prosecutor, police has not concluded 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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