Kayunga, 17th December, 2021: Three Ugandan journalists including Micheal Kakumirizi a photo journalists with the Daily Monitor, Joy Lule of Mboona FM and David Byansi of Heart FM were arrested while covering the Kayunga district LCV chairperson by-elections. The trio was detained at Naggalama police station for a night, and are now being taken to court in Kayunga.
The journalists had all their gadgets confiscated. Our sources say they were violently arrested. It is not clear which charges are being preferred against them.
The trio is part of the wider systematic attack targeted towards journalists covering elections in Uganda. Human Rights Network for Journalists has so far documented at least 17 cases of abuse and violations against journalists covering the Kayunga district by-elections. Many were teargassed and assaulted while in the line of duty by security forces.
“We are deeply concerned by the deliberate targeting of journalists covering elections by the security forces, which instead should ensure their safety as they do their work. The three journalists should be released unconditionally since their work does not constitute a crime in Uganda. Bearing in mind that freedom of expression and the media are key tenets of democracy, we call on the authorities to investigate and take stern action against the security officers targeting journalists in their line of duty,” Said the HRNJ-Uganda Executive Director Robert Ssempala.