× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Cartoons Lifestyle Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Ramadhan Special Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Governments should leave journalists alone

EDITORIAL
By Editorial | February 19th 2021

Harassment of journalists in Uganda is yet to end after President Yoweri Museveni’s administration stepped up its persecution of media actors.

Journalists, opposition leaders and citizens were subjected to harassment and torture by Uganda’s security agencies during the election campaign period last month. The security personnel were deployed, ostensibly, to ensure compliance to Covid-19 containment measures. After the polls, Museveni was declared winner, but opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi has gone to court to challenge that declaration.

The disdain Museveni’s administration has for journalists was extended to the United Nations' offices in Uganda on Wednesday this week. Journalists who had gone to cover Kyagulanyi’s delivery of his petition to the UN body were roughed up by police and soldiers at the UN premises.

There is no good reason for the Ugandan government, or any other government, to harass journalists going about their work. Freedom of the press and that of expression are not negotiable; they are constitutional rights that should be respected.

Yet to single out Uganda for violation of press freedom would be injudicious. Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya have on many occasions infringed on media freedom. A number of journalists in Kenya have been arrested, tortured and had their equipment confiscated by police or destroyed on flimsy grounds.

KTN journalist Duncan Khaemba, for instance, was arrested in August 2017 while covering protests in Kibera for, of all reasons, being in possession of a helmet. Yesterday, Belarus jailed two journalists whose only crime was to film demos against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The bottom line is that governments must respect and protect the right of journalists to gather and disseminate news.

Take a quick survey and help us improve our website!

Take a survey
Share this story
More counties pass BBI Bill
Kisii, Vihiga, Nairobi and Laikipia join list of county assemblies that have passed document.
Covid-19: Magufuli should stop living in denial and act
God, he told a church congregation, had 'removed' the pestilence from Tanzania.
.
RECOMMENDED NEWS

Feedback