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Kenyan editors condemn attacks as Uganda promises action against officers

By Japheth Ogila | Published Tue, August 21st 2018 at 19:31, Updated August 21st 2018 at 19:42 GMT +3
Tyres being burnt during the protest. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Editors Guild has condemned yesterday’s attack on journalists who were covering Ugandan protest against detention of MP Bobi Wine and other opposition legislators.

This is after Ugandan army was filmed beating up journalists who were on duty to cover the protest which largely rocked the country’s capital Kampala among other towns.

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A statement released by the Editors Guild signed by Chairman Churchill Otieno highlights eight journalists who were brutalized and their equipment destroyed.

 They include four journalists from NTV Uganda (Herbert Zziwa, Ronald Muwanga, Ronald Galiwango and Juma Kiirya), Julius Bakabaage from NBS, James Akena from Reuters, Kyambadde Samuel from Metro FM and Richard from Ghetto TV.

Statement reads: “These journalists have suffered untold abuse, and have undoubtedly been left with physical and psychological injuries. They were beaten, and tortured for no other crime than covering the elections and attendant events, including the protests.”

The union has delinked the journalists from the affairs of the country stating that the journalists only had the intention of doing their work professionally. It has stated the action of the Ugandan army is a blatant attempt to muzzle the media and deny Ugandans and the world access to information, especially regarding flaring tensions in the country.

Amidst tension and running battles and now brutality meted on the journalists, the union is now calling on the international community to find a solution for Uganda. It describes the situation as a threat to democracy.

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It states: “The Uganda government must cease attacks and harassment of journalists, and the East Africa Community, the African Union, the United Nations and other friends of democracy have a duty to help underwrite freedom of expression for the people of Uganda.”

This development comes in the wake of a rare apology from Uganda’s army. British media reported that the army leadership has lamented the actions of soldiers and termed them ‘unprofessional.’ That action will be taken against those who attacked the journalists.

 

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