Sunday, October 23, 2011

Television reporter injured while covering a demonstration

Wakiso; 20th/Oct/2011, The NTV reporter Julius Ssenkandwa has been stoned by unidentified person and injured while he was covering the arrest of the opposition leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye by police.
Dr. Besigye the leader of the opposition political party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was walking to work in protest of the skyrocketing commodity and fuel prices.
Human Rights and political activists in Uganda launched a second phase of the popular ‘Walk to Work’ on 17th/October/2011 demanding for government intervention following the first one in April 2011.   
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that police condoned off all roads leading to Dr. Besigye’s residence from Kasangati trading centre, Wakiso district and all journalists who covered the arrest went through bushes to access the scene.
Ssenkandwa told HRNJ-Uganda that he struggled to reach at Kasangati health centre which is three (3) kilometers to Dr. Besigye’s residence. He said he found law enforcement officers including police forcefully arresting the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) supporters including Dr. Besigye’s aides.
“Police tried to block me from filming the scuffle alleging that the footage aired on our station taints police’s image.  I insisted and moved on with my work but within no minute a stone hit my forehead close to my left eye and sustained a big cut” said Ssenkandwa
He said he rushed to a nearby Kasangati health centre where he received four stitches.
Several FDC supporters were arrested and Dr. Besigye was forced to return to his home where he’s currently under house arrest by police.
“We fear for the safety and security of journalists who cover these demonstrations because they are being targeted by law enforcement officers in a bid to block them from publishing their wrong deeds committed against demonstrators. We wonder what could happen to demonstrators if these violations are committed where there’s no camera” said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala
HRNJ-Uganda recalls that during the April 2011Walk to Work demonstration more than 30 journalists were deprived of their rights and freedoms by law enforcement officers.
We demand that all security organs involved in quelling demonstrators to adhere to the principles of keeping law and order.
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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