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HRNJ-Uganda Calls for Accountability and Safety for Journalists Amid Allegations of Assault by private bodyguards of NUP’s president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu


On 23 May 2024, the National Unity Platform (NUP), responded to allegations touching the alleged assault and damaging of journalists’ equipment by private bodyguards of the party president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu also known as Bobi Wine, while covering a burial ceremony in Lwengo district on May 18, 2024.

We welcome the response from the NUP, regarding this matter. However, it falls short of resolving the standoff and delivering justice to the victim journalists and the media fraternity.

We find it unfortunate that instead of taking responsibility to resolve this matter, the party chose to apportion blame and accuse the victims of being political actors. Such a statement has the potential to incite violence against journalists covering NUP and other political events.

We believe that failure to take action by the party leadership, is a veiled officialization of an attack on journalists through bullying and blackmailing to silence journalists, interested in holding the party accountable, henceforth.

As a media rights organization, we call for justice and accountability for all crimes committed against journalists by the State and non-state actors, aware that press freedom is a fundamental pillar of democracy and human rights.

Respecting press freedom is not only a moral imperative, but also a legal obligation under the national, regional, and international human rights laws. Political actors ought to recognize that to have a functioning healthy democracy, the public has a right to know the truth, and we will not let such intimidation tactics undermine the freedom of the press.

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