Admitted NBS tv journalist calls for Presidential intervention

Twaha Mukiibi lying on his sick bed Photo credit: Emmanuel Magambo

Kampala, 17th January, 2018; Twaha Mukiibi is a television journalist working with NBS. He was brutally assaulted by policemen in uniform and civilian attire around midday on Monday 15th January 2018 at Rose Gardens in Kyengera, Wakiso district, during an exclusive interview with a notorious self-confessed criminal gang.
Twaha was left in critical condition and rushed to Kampala Hospital where he was admitted. Police also arrested three of the gang leaders, who have since been released under unclear circumstances. Twaha is still bedridden at the hospital with severe pain in his legs and abdomen which he attributes to the severe beating by the police. He says he narrowly survived being shot.
“Policemen stormed the venue during an interview and started beating everyone at the scene. They hit me with a baton on the legs and immediately put up my hands pleading that i was a journalist hoping that it would save me, but it made matters worse as others joined in the beating with batons, kicks and pepper spray. Another officer who seemed to be their commander ordered them to shoot. Shoot, shoot… the officer shouted out his order. This made me so scared and went silent out of fear for my life. The beating went on until one of them ordered them to stop. I survived being shot by the police. They left me in very severe pain. I don’t remember how I was taken to hospital” Twaha told HRNJ-Uganda and the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders of Uganda team who visited him at the hospital.
Twaha wants the Ugandan President to reign over this blatant attack against journalists. “President Museveni must intervene. The police is clearly against journalists. The president must be concerned about the safety of journalists in the country.” Twaha said on his hospital bed.
The police has since not admitted any wrongdoing over this brutal assault. Police has been implicated as the top violators of journalists’ rights in Uganda over the years, but no clearly documented steps have been taken to bring to book the perpetrators. Many journalists and human rights defenders have consistently accused the police of intentionally targeting journalists on the line of duty.
It is not clear how long Twaha will be admitted as he battles for his life. Many journalists and well-wishers throng the hospital to show solidarity.
“We are gathering evidence to pursue the police officers seen assaulting the journalist and we shall not spare any energy in seeking justice for our victim colleague. We commend the journalists and human rights activists who have stood in solidarity to defend the media and journalists’ rights in the country. It is not clear why the police continues to target journalists on the line of duty.” 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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