Arua-The police in Uganda have been accused of bias in handling cases involving Journalists. Addressing journalists at Desert Breeze Hotel during a three days training on professionalism, Robert Ssempala, the Executive Director Human Rights Network for Journalists HRNJ-Uganda said many Journalists still suffer quietly after been tortured.
He observed that, cases that have been reported are suffocated by the police who do not carry out thorough investigations. With the theme: “Ending crimes against Journalists.”
Ssempala emphasized that there is need to fight crimes against Journalists and justice prevails without been compromised by those who have money.
He said many Journalists have suffered in the hands of security and state organs without their cases been heard due to intimidation. “We need to hold them accountable and fight for our rights” he said.
Ssempala urged Journalists to stop killing stories because of money but publish them with evidence to allow justice take its course. “We need to proceed to court to pursue the cases where journalists are assaulted and stop settling the case for less money,” he emphasized.
He says there is need to pressure police to investigate cases against journalists to allow justice prevail. Ssempala observed that, justice for a single journalist is justice for the entire media fraternity.
In a related development, Ssempala has appealed to Journalists in West Nile region not to register with National Independent Journalists Union, which he says has never been fully constituted and doesn’t exist. Currently NIJU is registering journalists across the country and issuing them practicing certificates. Ssempala says this is illegal because since they dragged the body to court, it would be wrong for them to continue the same activity that is being challenged in courts of law.
He urges the journalists to support local press association, which helps to empower their existence in handling issues of pay and professionalism.