Uganda: Police establish unit to investigate violations of press freedom
11 Jun 2012
ARTICLE 19 welcomes the Uganda Police Force’s establishment of a Press Unit which will receive and investigate complaints of violations of press freedom. The Press Unit will be headed by former head of the Police Media Crimes Department, Commissioner Simon Peter Kuteesa.
“This development comes at a critical time when journalists in Uganda are starting to lose hope of getting justice for the numerous abuses and violations meted against them by both state and non-state actors,” said Henry O. Maina, Director, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.
Attacks on journalists in Uganda have been on the increase with over 100 cases recorded in 2011 alone, an increase from 58 and 38 recorded in 2009 and 2008 respectively, according to a Press Freedom Index report released early this year by ARTICLE 19 partners, Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ).
In a May 2012 meeting led by HRNJ, the Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura assured attending journalists that his office was going to re-open and investigate all the cases of abuse carried out against journalists and the media.
The setting up of the Press Unit is a step in the right direction as the government begins to develop clear efforts to fulfil some of the recommendations on freedom of expression that Uganda received during the October 2011 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN Human Rights Council.
ARTICLE 19 calls upon Uganda to speed up the process of implementing the other recommendations that the government received and accepted during the UPR, and also consider those it rejected.
“It is important that Uganda considers implementing the rest of the Universal Periodic Review recommendations as opposed to doing it in a piecemeal fashion. Doing so is the only way it will fulfill its obligations to all the international treaties it has ratified,” added Maina.
Notes to editors:
- For more media interviews please contact: Paul Kimumwe, Senior Programme Officer, Freedom of Expression, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +254 (20) 3862230/2
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