Court releases the Investigator journalists after a week in police detention

Stanley Ndawula speaking to journalists after his release

Kampala, 06th/November, 2017; The Kampala City Hall Magistrate’s court has on 06th/November/2017, released on bail journalists Stanley Ndawula and Robert Ndawula the CEO and Business Manager of the Investigator an online news agency respectively after seven days of detention in police cells at Kiira Road Police in Kampala

Stanley Ndawula’s lawyer, Friday Kagoro told court that the journalists were law abiding citizens and respectable members of society, to which the prosecution led by Benon Ayebare did not object hence the presiding Magistrate Beatrice Khainza granting a non cash bail of UgShs700,000 (USD 195) to each of the two journalists.

Stanley told journalists soon after his release that he was still committed to his investigative media work, and that his detention would never weaken his spirit. “We are not bitter but better. We will continue doing our work.” Stanley said

According to a charge sheet signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita, the journalists are accused of libel contrary to sections 179,180,181 and 182 of the Penal Code Act. The duo was also charged with offensive communication contrary to Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act of 2011

The State alleges that between September and October, 2017, Ndawula repeatedly and with intent to disturb the peace, quiet and privacy of the Police Chief Gen. Kale Kayihura wrote stories on social media alleging that the police boss was under arrest and that his home had been cordoned off by the army.

Stanley and Robert’s release comes three days after the Nakawa Chief Magistrate, Noah Sajjabi ordered the police together with other security forces to produce the two journalists in court if they had any charges or be immediately released unconditionally.

The journalists are expected to appear in court on 22nd/ November/ 2017

We are happy that the two journalists are finally out on bail. We are sure to support them all through their trial, and we believe that justice will be served to them. The long pre-trial detention by the police was a gross abuse of the journalists’ rights but we are glad that the court released them.” 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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