HRNJ-Uganda alert, two arrested over brutal assault of three journalists, four others remain at large.

L-R is Ssebandeke(Trader), Ronald Bukenya(journalist) and Zimula Joel(journalist)

Kampala, 20th/August/2014; Police in Uganda’s Capital Kampala have on 20th August, arrested two businessmen on charges of assaulting three journalists who were on duty on Monday 18th/Aug/2014 within the City Centre. The two, Ssembatya Edward and Mubiru Ibrahim are being detained at the Kikuubo police post.

Journalists; Ronald Bukenya working with Joy FM radio, Zimula Joel working with Baba FM radio and Aminah Nalule working with Galaxy radio accuse the duo together with six others still at large of violently assaulting them. Another businessman, one Ssebandeke Joseph also accuses them of assault.

The journalists were covering a protest by some traders in Kampala over what they termed as exorbitant rent dues coupled with poor sanitation among others imposed by the owners of some three commercial buildings in Kampala from where they work. Police fired teargas to subdue the angry mob.
The victim journalists told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that they were hit using a tripod stand by the arrested suspects together with others at large. “I told him I was a journalist and showed him my press card, but he said he did not care. He hit me around the chest using a tripod stand, I started bleeding and my blouse got soaked in blood. I later bought another one to put on before I left the city.” Amina narrated. “He tried to hit me on the neck with a tripod stand but I moved fast and he hit my right hand which was holding an audio recorder. In the process I lost my recorder.” Zimula told HRNJ-Uganda at the police in Kampala. Bukenya said he was “hit with a tripod stand around the right ribs which injured him and sought for medication.”
The trader, Ssebandeke told HRNJ-Uganda that he was unconscious for almost two days after the brutal assault. He sustained bruises all over his body. He said he was on his own business when he was attacked by the arrested suspects together with others still at large.

The Officer-in-Charge of Kikuubo police post, ASP Godfrey Abigaba told HRNJ-Uganda that the police would arrest all the suspects and pursue justice for the journalists. “We are more disappointed than even the victim journalists who were doing their work; they had their press cards but attacked by these hooligans. These suspects were on the run but we will arrest them all, so far two are in, but we will have them all. We have opened three files of assault of journalists and a businessman. The law must take its course.

“We commend the Kikuubo police for acting fast to arrest the suspects. We hope that those still at large will also be apprehended to face justice. The police must always ensure the safety of journalists when they are on duty especially under such chaotic situations.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda 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: 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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