×
× Digital News Videos Opinion Special Reports Lifestyle Central Coast Eastern Nairobi North Eastern Nyanza Rift Valley Western Business News Stocks Financial Standard Africa Asia America Europe Weird News Editorial Commentary Letters Crazy World Features Entertainment Money & Careers Health & Science Sci & Tech Home & Away Generation Next Cartoon Education Pointblank Environment Travel & Destination Columns Kipkoech Tanui uReport Kiambu Murang'a Nyandarua Kirinyaga Nyeri Baringo Bomet Elgeyo Kajiado Kericho Laikipia Nakuru Nandi Narok Samburu Trans Nzoia Turkana Mombasa Kwale Kilifi Tanariver Taita Taveta Kakamega Vihiga Bungoma Busia Siaya Kisumu Homabay Migori Kisii Nyamira Nairobi Uasin Gishu West Pokot Sunday Magazine The Hague Trial Kenya @ 50 Education and Training Health and Environment Insurance and Financial Security Housing Current Affairs Humour Makau Mutua David Oginde Clay Muganda Comand Your Morning Mohamed Wehliye Wednesday Life Alexander Chagema Arts & Culture Kamotho Waiganjo Barrack Muluka Xn Iraki Urban Rights - By Steve Ouma Branding Voice KCB Fredrick Ogola Sunday Magazine Wanja Kavengi Njoki Kaigai David Oginde Ken Opalo Daisy Maritim Houghton Irungu Hustle News Group Stages Round of 16 Quarter Finals Semi Finals Finals Third Place play-offs Opinion Dr Pesa Podcasts Round Table Sepetuko Eve Woman Ramadhan Special Fact Check Correction Explainers The Standard Insider Blog 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 The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Uganda cracks down on media ahead of elections in 2021, watchdog says

By Reuters | July 11th 2020 at 01:34:57 GMT +0300

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on February 9, 2020. [Reuters]

Uganda’s security forces are cracking down on authors and journalists who challenge the 34-year-old rule of President Yoweri Museveni ahead of elections next year, a watchdog told Reuters.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it documented the cases of 10 journalists and writers assaulted by security personnel, detained, or charged with offences to do with their work this year, compared to four such cases last year.

“Police and the military have turned political reporting into a dangerous assignment,” said Muthoki Mumo, the committee’s representative for sub-Saharan Africa.

Calls seeking comment to police spokesman Fred Enanga, information minister Judith Nabakooba and presidential spokesman Don Wanyama were not answered.

Presidential elections are scheduled for early next year. Opposition leaders say the clampdown makes campaigning even harder after the government forbade mass rallies, citing the spread of the new coronavirus.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

“It will be near to impossible to campaign,” said opposition legislator Asuman Basalirwa, pointing out that most television and radios stations are pro-government.

Satirical Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, 32, said he was arrested in April and interrogated for five days in the Ministry of Defence Headquarters in Mbuya about whether his novel “The Greedy Barbarian” is a satire of Museveni.

He was beaten with a baton, punched in the face, and chained up, he said, showing Reuters scars and a scan of a damaged kidney he said came from the torture.

“I was like, tomorrow I will tell them anything because I am going to die... my body became numb, the blood stopped flowing,” he told Reuters, his voice trembling. “I prayed… bless my family, my wife and children.”

He was eventually charged over Facebook posts that prosecutors said encouraged people to disobey anti-coronavirus measures.

Uganda military spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire said he was unable to comment because he had not spoken to the people who handled Rukirabashaija’s case.

Political opponents of Museveni, 75, have frequently been arrested and beaten.

University professor Stella Nyanzi’s profanity-laden invectives against Museveni earned her a large online following but also landed her in jail.

She was released in February after serving more than a year on cyber harassment charges stemming from anti-Museveni Facebook posts. A popular blogger, Joseph Kabuleta, was arrested last year after calling Museveni a thief. He told local TV he had been stripped and drenched during interrogation.


Read More

Feedback