Kampala, 18th/May/2011; Barely a week since more than a dozen of journalists were subjected to police and military brutality, police today has launched another attack on four journalists.
The journalists were covering an eviction of Lubigi wetland encroachers in which was executed by a combined force of military police and Uganda Police Force.
Lubigi wetland is located along Hoima road 15 kilometers North West of Kampala, Uganda’s Capital
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that during the eviction, police arrested some of the encroachers, undressed them and beat them up as cameras captured the action.
Sources said that the presence of the journalists did not appeal to the Kampala North Regional Police Commander (RPC) Michael Mugabi and his officers who turned their brutality to the journalists.
The beaten journalists include; Stephen Otage – a photojournalist with the Daily Monitor, Sulaiman Mutebi, a journalist with Bukedde television, Ivan Mukasa, a journalist with Eddoboozi News Paper and Umar Kyeyune, a journalist with UBC television.
The beating of journalists has come at a time when journalists in Uganda are implementing a blackout on government activities namely; Uganda Media Center, Uganda Police Force conferences, Uganda People’s Defence Forces and all ministerial statements.
According to Stephen Otage, he said after he had photographed three men who were undressed and beaten by police, RPC Mugabi and several police men pounced onto him from behind and grabbed his camera.
“It’s a shame to Uganda Police Force that it cannot fell sorry for a number of journalists they have injured on duty for many years. We are convinced that attacks on journalists have been institutionalized since for many years no errant officer has ever been brought to justice at the will of police force” said Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala
He said these attacks are intended to scare off journalists from doing their watch dog role.
HRNJ-Uganda calls for the intervention from the international community to bring to order the government of President Museveni and push for perpetrators to be brought to justice.
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