Eddy Kenzo, Femi & Seun Kuti, Bono, Mr Eazi & More Sign Petition Against Uganda's Censorship Law
15 February 2019
The proposed law would require government approval before the release of any songs, videos or films.
Although freedom of expression is protected under the Uganda constitution, it's been coming under increased fire from the government of President Museveni.
We saw the unjust imprisonment, government harassment and physical violence against musician and opposition lawmaker Bobi Wine for speaking out against the president. Wine was arrested twice and tortured while in military custody in August of last year.
Now, Uganda's government is proposing a new law that would require the vetting of new songs, videos and film scripts prior to their release.
Under the new legislation all Ugandan artists and filmmakers would have to 1) register and obtain a license, which could be revoked for any perceived infraction 2) submit song lyrics for songs and film scripts to the government prior to release for approval. Content deemed to contain offensive language or be lewd or would be censured. 3) Musicians will also have to seek government permission to perform outside Uganda.
A number of high-profile artists, authors, managers, and politicians have now banded together to sign a petition against the proposed law.
Read the full letter here, which is signed by Bono, Brian Eno, Dele Sosimi, Femi Kuti, Irene Ntale, Jonathan Lethem, Lemi Ghariokwu, Les Claypool, Margaret Atwood, Mr Eazi, Peter Gabriel, Seun Kuti, Stephen Budd, Stephen Hendel, Yeni Kuti, Wole Soyinka, Amy Tan and more.