KAMPALA, APRIL 17, 2023: The Uganda police and security agencies must stop attacks on journalists going about their job of providing vital information to the public for an informed citizenry that holds public officials accountable.

Despite previous expressions of commitment to stop violence against journalists, the vice has remained rampant with the latest being the pepper-spraying of Next Media journalists Isano Francis and Thomas Kitimbo as they covered a demonstration by pre-intern doctors in Wandegeya on the morning of April 11, 2023. Similarly, Nation Media Group journalist David Awori was recently beaten in Busia, allegedly by soldiers, as he covered an engagement between enforcement officers and suspected smugglers.

While the Uganda Editors’ Guild welcomes a Uganda Police apology  released on April 12, 2023 for the pepper- spraying of the Next Media journalists,  the action taken to suspend the overzealous officer,  and further expression of commitment to stop attacks on journalists, we call for more, particularly for police and security agencies to walk-the-talk in stopping their assault on journalism as a free and robust media benefits all, including security agencies.

According to Reporters San Frontiers (RSF), Uganda has fallen 28 places in its World Press Freedom Index since 2015 and is now ranked 125th out of 180 countries. This isn’t a desirable situation for a free press and democratic society. The police and security agencies can reverse this unhelpful trend by building a mutually beneficial relationship with journalists and the media.

ABOUT UGANDA EDITORS’ GUILD: The Uganda Editors’ Guild is an association of the country’s senior editors and media scholars formed to foster professional and viable media that effectively advance a democratic society.

For further inquiries contact Sylvia Nankya, Secretary, Uganda Editors’ Guild via the email info@ugandaeditorsguild.org 

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