Thursday, May 5, 2011

TV journalist arrested, footage erased

Kampala, 4th/May/2011; Wavah Broadcasting Service (WBS) TV journalist Williams Ntege has been arrested by anti riot police for filming the arrest of Kampala woman Member of Parliament (MP) Nabirah Ssempala.
The MP was arrested for walking to work after she claimed her vehicle had ran out of fuel.
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that before the arrest of MP Ssempala, police first ordered Ntege to vacate the scene whose orders he defied.
Police lined up five armed security personnel where, three were in police uniform well as the two were armed but in plain clothes who arrested him.
“I was manhandled by police before the arrest and forcefully took my camera. They operated it inside Kabalagala police station to erase the footage. After few minutes later, they came and searched me.  They got another tape and took it just to destroy the evidence I had captured” Ntege said. He called for help from the Uganda Police Force (UPF) deputy spokes person Vincent Ssekatte who accused him of supporting the opposition.
Ntege said Ssekatte advised him to surrender all the tapes he had at the scene. 
He narrated that upon the arrest one plain clothed operative who was armed threatened to shoot him on accusations that he was inciting violence.
 Efforts to talk to Mr. Ssekatte were futile as our calls were not answered.
“It’s a petty that the police who are supposed to protect journalists continue to lead the list of tormentors. We wonder why police and other security agencies have taken journalists’ right hostage.” Said HRNJ-Uganda board Chairman Robert Ssempala
HRNJ-Uganda calls upon the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to commission a country visit in Uganda as a way of assessing Uganda’s compliance on the protection and promotion of media freedom.
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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