Ugandan journalists under their umbrella association Independent Online Journalist Association (INDOJA-U) have condemned the Monday brutal arrest of two journalists who were covering a by-election in Arua municipality.
The journalists’ Association (INDOJA-U) in a statement released to the media this Tuesday afternoon said it had learnt of disturbing reports of violence meted out on journalists while carrying out their lawful duties as a fourth estate in Uganda.
The latest incidents have been reported in the Arua by-election where journalists Ronald Muwanga and Herbert Zziwa of NTV-Uganda were brutally arrested by state security operatives on Monday night.
More reports of journalists being targeted by security agencies continue to trickle in and the latest is NBS TV’s Charles Ongom and Kibalizi John.
“INDOJA-U and the entire media fraternity join Ugandans to commiserate with the family of our fellow citizen, the late Kawooya Yasin, driver to Kyadondo East MP Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi following an incident that happened in Arua on Monday night (13th Aug 2018)” Said Andrew Irumba the INDOJA-U president.
He added that “INDOJA-U would like to appeal to state security agencies to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with crowds during electioneering activities to avoid loss of lives and destruction of property”.
“We condemn the excessive force and violence exhibited in the final hours of the campaigns in Arua and all previous harassment of journalists. We demand that the security minister, Gen Elly Tumwine responds to the call we made a few weeks ago about our security status” Irumba further noted.
The association demands that the minister reigns in on security agencies as a minister to unconditionally allow the fourth estate to play their cardinal role of disseminating TRUTHFUL information un-curtailed.
“We also demand the unconditional release of all journalists illegally detained so far or their presentation before courts of law for prosecution, not PERSECUTION”
“As a media Organization, we believe that Violence meted out on any journalist somewhere is Violence meted out on all journalists everywhere”. He explained.