Friday, March 7, 2014

HRNJ-Uganda alert, Police have arrested a security guard over assaulted journalist

Iganga, 17th/January/2014; Police in Iganga have arrested a security guard, who together with another one still at large, assaulted a Red Pepper journalist, Solomon Hamala on 13th/January/2014 at Iganga Main Taxi Park in Iganga district, as he was following up on a story.
The suspect, identified as Kemba Azizi, 25 years of age, attached to Accurate Services Uganda Ltd, was arrested on the 16th of January at about 06:00pm local ti
me from his place of work at Walugogo Estate, Iganga Town Council. He is being detained at Iganga Central Police Station. The other suspect, identified as Isiko Yakubu managed to elude police arrest.
Hamala told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda that the duo, on 13th/ January/2014 assaulted him at Iganga Main Taxi Park from where he had gone to cover a news story of kiosk owners who were demonstrating against the planned demolition of their kiosks by the Iganga Municipal Council authorities. He was admitted to a nearby clinic in critical condition after sustaining deep cuts and wounds on his head, chest and fingers. He said that in the process, he lost his digital camera, cell phone and money in a scuffle that lasted almost 30 minutes.

The Iganga CPS officer in charge of criminal investigations, Otuu Mathew confirmed the arrest, “Yes, we arrested him, let’s continue with investigations and see what we can do,” he told HRNJ-Uganda. This comes barely a day after HRNJ-Uganda complained to police for failure to arrest the suspects three days after the incident took place.
“The arrest is a good step towards pursuing justice for the victim journalist. The police should also try to arrest the second suspect. The investigations into the matter should be conducted thoroughly and diligently in order to have the suspects successfully prosecuted. HRNJ-Uganda commends the solidarity exhibited by the journalists in Busoga. We hope that this matter will be handled expeditiously.”

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