Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Security operatives raid news paper offices

Kampala, 24th/May/2011; Security forces have raided Ggwanga news paper’s offices and arrested four employees.
The forces arrested the paper’s managing director Kizito Sserumaga, editor Alex Lubwama, administrator Patricia Serebe and security guard Lukyamuzi Peter.
The 20-man raid, commanded by old Kampala police station Boss Siraje Bakaleke was allegedly conducted on grounds that the news paper had materials which might incite violence.
HRNJ-Uganda has learnt that the security forces conducted a forced search after raiding the paper offices at around 10 am, locked all the staff in one room and confiscated their mobile phones.
A network server and four sets of documents including Buganda conference magazine, leaflets for activist for Change, edited stories and hand written documents were seized.
“The security operatives cordoned off the premises and restricted movement of staff from one place to another which lasted for more than 3 hours. All our mobile phones were confiscated but later returned after the search” narrates Alex Lubwama one of the victims
It’s not yet clear what charges the police are likely to prefer against the suspects. They were bundled on a police patrol and taken to Old Kampala police station where they are currently detained. 
“The arrest of our colleagues is part of a wider campaign to harass journalists and silencing of critical voices to the government of president Museveni. Dozens of journalists have been reporting on bail or police bond for many years without their cases being concluded” said HRNJ-Uganda Board Chairman Robert Ssempala.
He said such acts have had a chilling effect on the work of journalists including censorship for fear of being persecuted.
HRNJ-Uganda demands that should police fail to produce the suspects to court tomorrow, they should be released unconditionally because it will be evident that they have no case.
By 6 o’clock some of the suspects had recorded statements.
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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