Uganda: 1000 Journalists Attacked in Uganda in 2011

Regulation & Policy

Over 1000 journalists were in 2011 attacked in Uganda according to the new Human Rights Network for Journalists report (HRNJ). The number is a huge leap compared to 58 journalists who were attacked in 2010 and 38 who were attacked in 2009.

Entitled "shrinking and sinking", the Press Freedom Index report released on Feb. 7 highlights the suffering, insecurity and difficulties journalists face while executing their duties.

Speaking at the launch at Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala, Geofrey Ssebagala, the HRNJ Program Coordinator, said journalists are attacked, injured, and threatened by the institutions that are mandated to guarantee enjoyment of the media freedom of speech and integrity. These include the police, army, and other security agencies. Barely a week before the report was released, Isaac Kasamani, a journalist with Daily Monitor was shot at by a security operative.

Haruna Kanabi, the Executive Secretary of the Independent Media Council of Uganda, urged the government to look into the findings of the report. "It is the responsibility of the government to enforce the freedom of journalists and that the constitution should stand up for the journalists," he said.

The chairman of the (HRNJ) Mulindwa Mukasa said attacks on journalists limit freedom of expression and platforms through which Ugandans can convey their views.