Police detains two journalists, as three others are assaulted on duty.

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

Nateete, 25th/July/2016; A Delta Television journalist Jamil Mukiibi was attacked by commercial motorcyclists (Bodaboda) as he covered a scuffle between two rival cyclists’ associations. He sustained several injuries and lost his property in the Sunday afternoon attack at Nateete, a Kampala suburb on 24th July, 2016.

A section of commercial cyclists under their umbrella body Century Riders Association had gone to Boda boda 2010 offices in Nateete to demand for their motor cycles that were impounded when a scuffle ensued which saw some cyclists severely beaten and bled profusely. Boda boda 2010 is an association of commercial motorcyclists in Rubaga Division.

Mukiibi was donned in a Delta TV press jacket when covering the incident. He was attacked by a group of cyclists. He was able to recognize some of his attackers as Joel Kibirige and a one Igga, both residents of Nateete.

They pulled me while beating me, they had a panga but I was lucky it did not cut me, my right eye is red and cannot see properly, I feel a lot of pain on the head, chest and left hand as a result of the beating.” Mukiibi told HRNJ-Uganda.

Mukiibi further told HRNJ-Uganda that he lost a sony camera, tripod stand, power bank and six hundred eighty thousand shillings only (USD200). He filed a case of assault and theft at Nateete police station. One witness has so far recorded a statement.

Elsewhere in Eastern Uganda, two journalists in Iganga district were on Saturday 23rd July, 2016 battered by the head of the security team of the Kyabazinga(King) of Busoga Kingdom, Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope, Lieutenant Mugoya. They told HRNJ-Uganda in an interview that they sustained head and chest injuries.

Fredrick Sooma of Bukedde Television and Solomon Hamala of Red Pepper Publications said they were invited by the minister for sports in the Kyabazinga Kingdom, Amin Bbosa to cover the launch of the inter county soccer tournament.

It took the intervention of the District Police Commander of Iganga District, Nassibu Nditta to restrain the soldier from doing more harm to the journalists.

The two have filed an assault case at Iganga police station and three witnesses have so far recorded statements.

The Kingdom spokesperson, Andrew Ntange disassociated the Kingdom from the said assault, “am aware that a journalist has filed a complaint at police. As a Kingdom, we isolate ourselves from the action of the UPDF soldier.” Ntange told HRNJ-Uganda

Meanwhile, in Kampala, Old Kampala police arrested and detained two Vision Group journalists, on 20th July 2016 for taking photographs at the station while covering a story of an alleged defilement. Mathias Ssebwato and Joseph Makumbi were charged with assault and criminal trespass before they were released after over ten hours’ detention. Makumbi’s camera was confiscated by the police.

We condemn the actions of targeting journalists on duty. We implore the Uganda Police to investigate the cases expeditiously and bring the perpetrators to book. Old Kampala Police should drop the unfounded charges of assault and criminal trespass against the Vision Group duo.” said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala.

HRNJ-UG Admin

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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