Monday, April 11, 2011

TV Journalist arrested, detained for 12 hours

Kampala, 11th/April/2011; The Bukedde television journalist Ssemakula Bambalazabwe has been arrested and detained for 12 hours at Mutundwe police post.
Ssemakula was arrested on Saturday the 09th/April/2011 at 9pm while covering a scuffle at Kampala University Mutundwe campus between students and university administration. The scuffle ensued after some properties of the students had been thrown out of the hostel in a bid to create space for new foreign students.
He was arrested by a group of drunkard policemen lead by one policeman called Asimwe who beat him up sustaining injuries on his ankle and other parts of the body.
Ssemakula was dumped at the Mutundwe police post and policemen made off with his money totaling to eighty thousand Uganda shillings about thirty dollars.
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that by the time of Ssemakula’s arrest he was filming the scuffle. He was at first confronted by the university Dean of students only identified as Harriet who accused him of being an intruder.
“Five policemen confronted me and I was accused of filming them while on duty. I was arrested, handcuffed and assaulted. I was manhandled and later dumped at Mutundwe police post. While I was in cells the police denied me the right to communicate to my family or bosses” Said Ssemakula
The Bukedde Television editor Hannington Muluuta told HRNJ-Uganda that Ssemakula was detained without a charge and he recorded a statement after their intervention.
“We meet the Officer in Charge of the police post known as Rugumayo who was not aware of the detained journalist. Most police men at the post are drunkard and we also saw many inmates being harassed inside the police cells” said Muluuta
Ssemakula was charged with inciting violence and released on police bond.
HRNJ-Uganda condemns in the strongest term possible the acts of violence subjected to Ssemakula and now that the matter has been brought to the attention of A/IGP Asan Kasingye, we call for the immediate investigation into the conduct of policemen at Mutundwe police post and their prosecution.
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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