IFJ Condemns Death Threat and Calls for Protection of Belgian Journalist in Uganda

The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' organisation, today called on Ugandan rebels to lift the death threat issued against a Belgian journalist who is reporting on the plight of child soldiers.

The IFJ said rebel leader Joseph Kony should withdraw the threat against Els De Temmerman. "It is an outrageous threat aimed at intimidating journalists and creating fear within media," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Threatening journalists is no way to secure a free, democratic and just society and such tactics are deplorable."

The IFJ is calling on both Ugandan and Belgian authorities to do their utmost to protect the journalist and to ensure her safety at all times.

The death threat follows the publication of a book by the journalist entitled Daughters of Aboke in which Els De Temmerman describes the mistreatment of adolescents who are forced to join the rebel movement headed by Kony.

De Temmerman, a former VRT correspondent, has felt under threat from Kony since January as a result of her work on behalf of the "kadogo", the children who are forced to take up arms.

"We take this threat very seriously," said Aidan White, "and it may no longer be safe for this journalist to stay in the country. Her safety is paramount and action must be taken to protect her."