Friday, December 9, 2011

Uganda police blocks a good intentioned demo over murdered journalist

Kampala, 8th /Dec/2011; Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is
dismayed with the unfair treatment from Uganda Police against families and friends of
late Charles Ingabire who wanted to express grief and solidarity against the brutal
killing of Charles and other Rwandese who have succumbed to this kind of gruesome

Charles IngabireRIP, the editor of the Kinyarwanda Online media Inyenyeri magazine was
gunned down by unidentified assailants on the 30th of November 2010 in the gardens of
Makies 2 Bar along Sir Apollo Kaggwa, a Kampala suburb. However, fear has mounted onto
both Rwandan community and journalists in Uganda over the increased operatives spying on
their work. Ingabire is suspected to have been killed because of his journalistic work.

The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 additional Protocols are the cornerstones of
modern refugee protection wherein government guarantees the basic Human Rights and
physical security of the refugees. Therefore, the government of Uganda bears the prime
responsibility for protecting refugees within its territory and this includes promoting
and providing legal and physical protection, and minimizing the threat of violence
including deaths which many Rwandan refugees are prone to.

The committee set up by the community of Rwandan Refugees and Asylumseekers in Uganda had
sought protection while holding a peaceful demonstration on 8th of December between 10:00
am to 12:00pm en-route from Kisementi roundabout, through Kanjokya Street to Prince
Charles drive where they would petition the UN Office of the High Commissioner for
Refugees to look into their grievances.
A letter dated 6th/Dec/2011 was written to the Inspector General of Police, Major
General Kale Kaihura seeking for protection while peacefully demonstrating against the
alarmingly rampant activities of intelligences that spy on their work in Uganda and the
killings of Rwandan Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

The assassination of CHARLES INGABIRA epitomizes several other killings and security
threats to the Rwandese community. The demonstration further sought to call on the
International Community, especially UNHCR, the United Nations body in charge of
protection of refugees and human rights defenders and the Government of the Republic of
Uganda, the host country to take effective measures in ensuring the safety and protection
of Rwandese refugees, journalists and other human rights defenders. The demonstrators
also wanted UNHCR to desist from riding roughshod to serious concerns of security threats
and death of Rwandan refugees.

Also, the demo ultimately calls for vigilance, independence and thorough investigations
by police and all other relevant security agencies into mishaps against Rwandese. These
investigations should ensure that the cases are handled to their logical conclusions with
the perpetrators being brought to book.
HRNJ-Uganda was reliably informed that Ugandan police force dilly-dallied with the
leaders who had gone to police headquarters on 7th/Dec/2011 to secure protection.

One of the leaders told HRNJ-Uganda that they reportedly went to police four times and
appeared before different offices as they were being asked to go back after every three

“Whenever we would go to police headquarters, officers there were telling us that nothing
has matured and that’s how the day went without getting protection” said one leader whose
name is withheld for security purposes.
Sources told HRNJ-Uganda that by 18:00 local time on 7th/Dec/2011, there was still no
response until the Inspector General of Police intervened, made a private call to the
Rwandese leaders and managed to coerce them to postpone their intentions for a few days
as they partake investigations into the matter in a meeting that lasted up to 21:00
o’clock. The IGP asked them to be patient and promised to grant permission at a future

“We were not surprised to hear that police blocked the demo. From our experiences with
the Uganda Police Force, this is a normal routine! It was a hectic wild goose chase that
yielded no result. The police’s response exhibits the high handedness, partisan, and
repressive role the police is playing in abrogating the Constitution most especially
Article 29 which provides for freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration” said
HRNJ-Uganda Programs Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala

HRNJ-Uganda reiterates its former position that called for intervention from independent
bodies like Interpol to investigate the gruesome murder of Charles Ingabire fearing for
country relations that would jeopadise investigations.

For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road at Mengo Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Pre. School
P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627

No comments:

Post a Comment