Court remands prison officers who attacked journalists

Kalisizo, 16th/May/2013; Three Kalisizo prison warders have been remanded by the Grade 1 Magistrate Court in Kalisizo after pleading not guilty to two charges of assault and malicious damage.

The trio was led to Kalisizo prison by a fellow prison warder after the Magistrate Awidi Susan denied them bail and remanded them until 17th May 2013 when she would give her ruling on their bail application.

The prosecution led by Namazzi Rachael alleges that Corporal Ssemata Robert, Corporal Kyomwiru Frank and Warder Mukasa Alex, on 18th March 2013 assaulted two journalists; Pascal Lutabi a reporter with WBS television and the Daily Monitor and John Bosco Mulyowa a journalist with the government owned Vision Group.

The journalists allege that the trio attacked and severely beat them using a huge stick, a gun butt, whilst raining kicks and blows on them when they had gone to Kalisizo government prison, in Kalisizo Town Council, Rakai district, to cover the news of the escape of 10 inmates. The Commissioner General of prisons described the attack on the journalists as a ‘barbaric act’. The Officer-in-Charge of the prison, Okello Tom was later suspended from duty for having not prevailed over the situation.

During the scuffle that lasted over 10 minutes outside the prison premises, Lutabi was severely beaten and sustained body injuries. The journalists’ video and photo cameras were destroyed and confiscated by the prison officers. The journalists were arrested and detained at Kalisizo police station, where after Lutabi was charged with assault- a charge the Resident State Attorney did not sanction due to insufficient evidence on the file.

 “This is a major stride in the journalists’ quest for justice. This is a public interest case which is being followed by a cross section of the community, it was evidenced by the big turnout at the court, and therefore we hope that justice will be delivered at the end of the court process. We however pray that the prison authorities suspend the trio from duty pending the logical conclusion of the court case.” said HRNJ-Uganda’ National Coordinator, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

 

 

 

 

For More Information Contact;

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)

Plot 18, Block 12 Stensera Road Kayanja Triangle Zone

P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala. Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627

E-mail: news@hrnjuganda.org / humanrajournalists@yahoo.co.uk /

Website: http://www.hrnjuganda.org ;BLOG: http://hrnjuganda.blogpost.com

 

 

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About Human Rights Network For Journalists-Uganda

HRNJ-Uganda was established in 2005 by a group of human rights-minded journalists who developed a sense of activism amidst a deteriorating context due to glaring abuses targeting the media. The network gained formal registration as an independent non-profit and non-partisan media organisation in 2006. The identity of HRNJ-Uganda lies with its diverse membership across the board including the print and electronic media, freelance investigative journalists and individuals from other professions.
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