IFJ Condemns Police Raid on Media Premises In Uganda

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

today has vigorously condemned the clamp down on the media in Uganda. According

to the Uganda Journalists Union (UJU), police on 20 May, besieged two privately

owned newspapers and cut off two radio stations from the air in the capital

city, Kampala.

“This is a real affront on media freedom. Uganda is

definitely becoming a country where press freedom abuses and violations are

widely perpetrated by the police with total impunity. This must stop

immediately,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.

According to the UJU, on 20 May heavily armed policemen surrounded the “Daily Monitor” newspaper offices in Kampala, which is owned by Monitor Publications, and besieged the premises allowing no one to

enter or come out.  No official reasons

were given for this act but UJU said, quoting sources, that the police were

looking for evidence against an army general who recently questioned President

Yoweri Museveni’s alleged plan to have his son succeed him.

On the same day, police ordered the switching off

of two radio stations, KFM and Dembe FM, both also owned by Monitor Publications. According to the

UJU, as the “Daily Monitor” was being

overrun by the Police another raid was being carried out on the premises of “Red Pepper” another independent


“The raid on the newspaper is aimed at intimidating

and suppressing the Press from reporting issues independently, objectively and

responsibly. If there is any crime against the journalists then aggrieved

parties should seek legal redress,” said UJU President, Lucy Anyango Ekadu.

The IFJ is deeply concerned about the continued

degradation of press freedom and freedom of expression in Uganda and calls on

the Government of President Yoweri Museveni to ensure that the safety of

journalists is guaranteed while executing their duties.

The Government of Uganda must be able to create the

enabling environment for the media to flourish in relation to its obligations

on the international instruments that it has signed and ratified guaranteeing

the freedom of expression. It could be

recalled that two weeks ago, the IFJ condemned the arrest of James Kasirivu of

Endigito Radio who is detained incommunicado without any charges against him.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 221 33

867 95 86/87

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries