Entebbe, 15th /June/2015; Sulaiman Mutebi, a journalist working with the Vision Group was on 15th June 2015 assaulted by two suspected land fraudsters at Kisubi police station in Entebbe, Wakiso District in full presence of police officers.
Mutebi told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda that he was assaulted by some suspected land fraudsters who had been arrested but released by the same police. “When the suspects realized I was covering them, they pounced on me and started beating me up. I was kicked in the stomach, on the head and jaws. My camera fell down and got spoilt in the process. All this time the police officers were looking on without helping me. I was saved by a traffic officer who arrived and found them assaulting me.” Mutebi told HRNJ-Uganda.
Mutebi, who told HRNJ-Uganda that he had sustained injuries and body pains, had gone to cover a story of two men who are suspected of dealing in land fraudulently. On reaching the police station, he was able to interview some police officers, and as he turned to the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations, he saw the two suspects walking away, so he tilted his camera and started covering in that process, prompting the wrath of the suspects who pounced on him.
Mutebi has recorded a case of assault and malicious damage at Kisubi police against the alleged land fraudsters, who were identified as Solomon Tumwesigye and David Muhakanizi. Efforts to get a comment from the Police were futile.
Adrian Bbaale Bwanika , a Vision Group journalist was arrested and detained at Kasangati police station late last year in a similar as he covered land fraud related story. In a turn of events, police charged him with disobedience of lawful order, a case which was later dismissed by the Kasangati Magistrates Court for lack of evidence.
“HRNJ-Uganda is dismayed with this unfortunate incident that happened at a police station in the full presence of police officers whose role is to keep law and order.” The police’s disciplinary body –PSU should investigate into the conduct of the implicated officers, and also cause the arrest of suspects for assaulting the journalists.” said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala.