Journalists harassed for broadcasting “false news”

February 1, 2006
Posted March 14, 2006

Jimmy Uhuru, Unity FM
Paul Odom Aryam, Unity FM
Joe Okello, Unity FM


Police in the northern town of Lira raided the private radio station Unity FM and arrested three journalists working for the station. Owner Uhuru, News Editor Aryam, and news reader Okello were released the same day, but police threatened to charge them with incitement and broadcasting “false news,” Uhuru told CPJ.

During a live talk show about local education policy, a listener called to air concerns about an coming campaign rally for President Yoweri Museveni, who was running for re-election. Museveni was traveling to Lira from an area with a meningitis outbreak, the caller said, and some members of his entourage had not been vaccinated against the disease.

Uhuru defended the decision to air the call, saying that he was speaking in good faith and had not apparently intended to cause unrest.