Vision Group journalist detained at police four days

HRNJ-Uganda Alert,

Wakiso, 06th/October/2013;

Vision Group journalist detained at police four days

A journalist working with the government owned television, Urban TV in Kampala has been detained at police for four days without being aligned in court. Jude Okech Jorum was arrested on October 01st, 2013 at Naluvule in Wakiso district as he covered a story of a disagreement and fall out between two orphanage homes. He was accused of criminal trespass.

A journalist who preferred anonymity told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that Okech was arrested by police at about 02:00pm local time, together with six other suspects. He said that Okech’s camera and laptop were damaged during a scuffle to arrest him. He added that the seven were rounded up at St. Noah’s family orphanage at Naluvule, rocked in a house until police came and arrested them.

Okech was first detained at Kawempe police station for two nights before he was transferred to Nansana and later to Buloba police station in Wakiso district. “They have been charged with criminal trespass, but am going to give them bond and release.” The officer in charge of criminal investigations at Wakiso police, George Mpungu told HRNJ-Uganda.

HRNJ-Uganda was unable to talk to Okech as we failed to get access to him in custody. His father, Dr. JB Okech told HRNJ-Uganda that he was disappointed in the police for detaining his son for four days contrary to the Constitutional provision of 48 hours. “I have put it in writing to them that it is unconstitutional detaining him for this number of days.” He said.

The Coordinator of God’s Grace Orphanage at Kyebando in Kampala, Ronald Mutebi told HRNJ-Uganda that their arch rivals, St. Noah’s Family were using the police to arrest and detain who ever criticizes them.

 “The detention of the journalist and other accused persons for more than forty eight hours is unlawful and therefore amounts to abuse of the Constitution by the police. The detainees must be released from the cells unconditionally since police has failed to align them in court. The police should promote and protect the freedom of expression and information; it should therefore protect journalists as they do their work.” Said HRNJ-Uganda’s National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala.

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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