Freedom Of The Press In Danger in Uganda
Kampala, Uganda. March 10, 2011/HRNJ/– 9th/March/2011; The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) have arrested and interrogated the Daily Monitor Journalist Tabu Butagira over Dr. Kiiza Besigye’s story published by the paper. The special Investigation Unit is a newly established unit under the Uganda Police Force. The Daily Monitor under tagline Uganda decides, published Dr. Besigye’s story on 28th/Feb/2011 with the headline “Besigye; I can’t rule out war”
The agency based in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, summoned Butagira to assist police in its investigations. Butagira flanked by lawyers James Nangwala and Timothy Ntale was interrogated for about an hour by detectives to purposely extract information to be used against the opposition leader of Forum for Democratic change (FDC) Dr. Kiiza Besigye.
“Police tried to extract information to implicate some people but we warned them against abusing the journalism code of ethics that empowers journalists to protect their sources” Said James Nangwala.
Butagira is the second journalist at the Daily monitor after Robert Mwanje to be compelled to testify against their sources. “Such police actions are illegal and an insult to the journalism profession. Why do the security agencies want to make journalists in Uganda enemies to everybody including members of the public? They should stop using us to fight their wars” said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) demands for the respect of the journalism profession and the understanding the core values of the profession including the protection of sources of information. Butagira wrote a two paged statement at the agency’s offices before his lawyer James Nangwala and the one detective Mafabi giving an account of the interview with Rt. Col. Besigye. He was later released.
For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
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