Ugandan journalists give police, army 48 hours to arrest officers

A police officer pushing a journalist as she tried to cover a protestors during the closure of Uganda's newspaper the Daily Monitor in 2013

Human Rights Network for Journalist in Uganda (HRNJ) has given security organs an ultimatum of 48 hours to arrest soldiers who assaulted journalists during protests on Monday.

The journalists James Akena of Reuters, Juma Kirya, Alfred Galiwango of NTV and Alfred Ochol of the Observer Newspaper were assaulted by the army while covering protests against the continued detention of Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.

Last week, NTV Uganda journalists Herbert Zziwa and Ronald Muwanga were also beaten by security officers in Arua following the killing of Yassin Kawuma, Kyagulanyi’s driver.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Robert Sempala, the National Coordinator HRNJ said that the police and the army have made it a routine to violate the rights of journalists while on duty.

Sempala said that if the soldiers are not arrested, there will be peaceful demonstrations by journalists in all parts of the country.

He also says that the media shall boycott all functions of security agencies.

Alfred Ochol who was assaulted says that his camera and mobile phone were destroyed during the arrest.

On Tuesday, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. David Muhoozi ordered the arrest and punishment of soldiers who battered journalists during a Joint Operation on Kampala on Monday.