Kampala; 22nd February 2018;Police officers based at the Uganda Police Headquarters in Naguru, Kampala have blocked journalists from covering the trial by the Police Court of the embattled Assistant Superintendent of Police Muhammad Kirumira the former District Police Commander of Buyende District in Eastern Uganda
Before the denial of coverage of the court proceedings, police officers led by Assistant Inspector of Police Abinuku assaulted and manhandled Nsimbi Posiano a News reporter attached to Bukedde Newspaper under Vision Group. Speaking to HRNJ-Uganda, Nsimbi said that he was allegedly beaten using big sticks by AIP Abinuku and other unknown police officers severely bruising him on the right hand and leg although he managed to save his camera.
Sulaiman Mutebi a journalist working with Bukedde Television substantiated Nsimbi’s narrative, “We were targeted because of recording footage and taking still photos of the infamous police van that was taking ASP Muhammad Kirumira to the Police Court for trial”. I however survived as I swiftly run away from the pursuing police officers.
When contacted by Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, the Spokesperson of the Uganda Police Emilian Kayima defended the blockage of media coverage for the said trial saying that it was causing excitement on the side of the defaulter Assistant Superintendent of Police Muhammad Kirumira. He argued the journalists allegedly assaulted to record statements at police to facilitate a thorough investigation into the matter.