- The 2017 report indicates that police was the leading violator of media freedoms accounting for 83 cases out of 113 (73 per cent)
- Journalists suffered a range of abuses and violations during the campaign to amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution
- Violations & abuses against the media are facilitated by a legal regime that still hosts provisions that undermine
Kampala- The Ugandan policemen have remained a leading perpetrator to stifling media freedom and are a threat to critical journalism.
During the launch of the 9th Annual Press Freedom Index Report by Human Rights Network for Journalists in Kampala this morning, the National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala, said: “Media environment is getting more restricted in ordinary where protection mechanisms will need to be stepped up.”
Ssempala said: “”Many media houses are shying away from discussing what looks to be politically insensitive this resulted into censorship.”
During the launch, the chairperson of Uganda Human Rights Commission, Meddie Kaggwa, said journalists need to be informed and professional amidst the threats to their work.
The report also raises a red flag on the increasing unfettered powers of UCC as exemplified in its various orders it issued in 2017. In the West Nile Sub-region, the journalists have continued to be harassed by police or the community members.
The cover book of the annual report.
A case in point is that of Arua One Fm reporter, Oguzu Ronald who was beaten by mob as he covered land conflict. Also the Editor for Arua Today and former News Editor of Arua One Fm was thrown in police cells for three days over allegations of making offensive communication on Facebook about the Woman MP for Maracha district, Rose Ayaka.
Also, the New Vision Reporter in Adjumani, John Unzima was beaten by mob as he covered boda-boda riot in the town. He was injured and his phones were picked.
Human Rights Network for journalists, documented 113 cases of media violation and abuses in year 2017.