Nairobi, May 29, 2013--Ugandan police on Tuesday assaulted and detained several journalists who were among a crowd of demonstrators protesting the government's closure of four independent news outlets, according to news reports and local journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists said today that the police actions only highlight the government's continuing effort to suppress information concerning a supposed assassination plot.
"Having silenced news outlets for coverage of a critical public issue, Ugandan authorities are now trying to suppress protesters who want to call attention to the censorship," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "The indefinite closure of these media outlets serves as a daily reminder that the government wants to deny its citizens important sources of news and information."
Nairobi, May 21, 2013--Ugandan police surrounded the Kampala offices of two private newspapers for seven hours on Monday, barring access to the premises, disabling printing presses, and effectively halting publication indefinitely, according to news reports. The police said they had search warrants to find documents related to a letter written by an army official that described an assassination plot.
While Uganda's politicians and social media are abuzz over a sensational letter reportedly written by a top security official about a high-level assassination plot, police have dutifully harassed the mainstream press in a bid to suppress the chatter.
With a medical drip attached to his hand, camped outside police headquarters along Parliamentary Avenue in Uganda' capital, Kampala, William Ntege was determined to get his video cameras back. Police had beaten Ntege, a journalist with the private broadcaster WBS, and damaged two of his cameras as he covered elections last year, according to local reports. "I am here for my two cameras that were destroyed by the Ugandan police. We are fed up," read a placard Ntege held up to passing police and the public last week before being invited in by the police for negotiations, according to local journalists.
New York, January 25, 2012--Ugandan authorities must hold to account members of security forces who fired Tuesday on a photojournalist covering their attack on the motorcade of opposition leader Kizza Besigye, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, May 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns President Yoweri Museveni for publically criticizing local and foreign media outlets. Museveni expressed anger over the outlets' coverage of protests by the opposition over rising fuel prices. In a letter published Tuesday in the state-owned daily New Vision, Museveni accused Al-Jazeera, the BBC, the Kenyan broadcaster NTV, and the local independent Daily Monitor of being supporters of recent opposition protests and "enemies of Uganda's recovery."
New York, May 13, 2011--Security and military personnel attacked local and foreign journalists and confiscated their equipment on Thursday as they covered the return of opposition leader Kizza Besigye to Uganda. Besigye returned to Uganda Thursday from Nairobi, where he was treated for injuries received when security forces assaulted him and his colleagues during demonstrations on April 28 in Kampala.
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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.