New York, March 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an attack against the press covering an event organized by opposition party candidates in Uganda. The forces attacked about a dozen journalists covering a protest rally in Jinja, eastern Uganda, organized by three opposition parties on March 11, according to local journalists.
New York, February 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Ugandan police to conduct a thorough investigation and arrest all the perpetrators involved in the brutal attacks against six journalists on Wednesday during local elections in the capital, Kampala. Men believed to be supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party mayoral candidate for Kampala, attacked journalists covering the mayoral elections at the Kakeeka polling station in the capital, local journalists told CPJ.
New York, February 23, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the shooting of a freelance journalist by Ugandan soldiers on February 18, the day of parliamentary and presidential elections. Soldiers shot and injured freelance journalist Julius Odeke near Bugusege, eastern Uganda.
In partnership with the Ugandan Human Rights Network for Journalists, CPJ has written a letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni asking him to respect press freedom and end a wave of attacks against journalists in the run-up to the February 18 general elections. At least 10 journalists have been attacked in election-related incidents since the electoral process began in November 2010, the letter states. Media outlets that provide a platform for opposition parties are facing intimidation, detentions, and censorship while opposition parties are denied air time despite broadcast licensing obligations to provide equal coverage for all presidential candidates. You can see the letter--and the signatures of 32 other press freedom groups--here.
By Mohamed Keita
Across the continent, the emergence of in-depth reporting and the absence of effective access-to-information laws have set a collision course in which public officials, intent on shielding their activities, are moving aggressively to unmask confidential sources, criminalize the possession of government documents, and retaliate against probing journalists. From Cameroon to Kenya, South Africa to Senegal, government reprisals have resulted in imprisonments, violence, threats, and legal harassment. At least two suspicious deaths--one involving an editor, the other a confidential source--have been reported in the midst of government reprisals against probing news coverage.
As Ugandan journalists prepare to cover presidential elections on February 18 amid political tensions and security concerns, uncertainty and fear are on the minds of reporters. That's particularly so after a year in which 52 press freedom abuses--ranging from physical and verbal intimidation to state censorship and murder--were recorded, according reports by Ugandan press freedom group Human Rights Network of Journalists (HRNJ-Uganda). Journalists Arafat Nzito and Eddie Frank are suffering lasting effects of 2010 harassment.
New York, January 13, 2011--Police in Kampala arrested the director and editor of the monthly newsmagazine Summit Business Review on Tuesday in connection with a caricature of President Yoweri Museveni that appeared on the cover of the October issue.
Director Samuel Sejjaaka and Editor Mustapha Mugisha were released on bond but face continued interrogations, Sejjaaka told CPJ.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.