- The IFJ has condemned a Ugandan military officers’ attack on a Reuters journalist covering protests in Kampala
- Akena was detained at the Kampala Central Police Station shortly after the attacks and has been released earlier this morning. However, the police confiscated all his equipment
- Earlier, two journalists who were covering the Arua Municipality by-elections in North Western Uganda, were arrested by the Special Forces and detained at Gulu Police station in Northern Uganda
By Felix & IFJ
Kampala/Brussels – Ugandan army has said they would arrest and punish the soldiers who clobbered experienced Photographer with Reuters, Mr James Akena.
He was covering the demonstrations against the jailed MPs in Uganda. The Army Spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire said in a statement that: “UPDF wishes to express its displeasure over such behaviour by those individuals and as a result, the Chief of Defence Forces has ordered for their (soldiers) arrest and punishment.”
On August 20, James Akena, a Reuters’ journalist, who was covering the Free Bobi Wine protest, was attacked and detained. Three armed officers from UPDF Special Forces Command (SFC) violently attacked Akena while he was working. View a clip of NTV Uganda has shown.
The journalist, who has built his 20-year-long career on documenting the victims of conflict in northern Uganda, was on duty covering the Free Bobi Wine protest in Kampala, where intense physical confrontations took place between the Ugandan military and protestors.
The detention of Akena was strongly condemned by Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Uganda (FCAU), who called for the immediate release of their colleague.
The IFJ is deeply concerned by the increasing violence against journalists in Uganda. There have been reports of the Ugandan police targeting journalists with physical attacks and arrest. The IFJ urges the Ugandan military to respect press freedom and human rights, to stop the attacks and detentions of journalists and to take action against the soldiers responsible for this brutal attack.