HRNJ-Uganda alert, another witness pins senior police officer of journalist assault.

lwangaKampala, 14th/May/2015; A third prosecution witness has testified against the former District Police Commander of Old Kampala Police Station, Joram Mwesigye in an assault case against a WBS TV journalist, Andrew Lwanga in the on-going trial at Buganda Road Court, before the Grade 1 Magistrate, Sanyu Mukasa.

Galiwango Ronald, a journalist with the Nation Media’s NTV told a fully packed court that, on the 12th of January, 2015, he witnessed and recorded Mwesigye beating Lwanga twice on the head and smashing his video camera. “I saw Mr. Mwesigye beating Lwanga two times on the head, using a stick he picked from another policeman. The first time, Lwanga never fell, but the second time, I saw him falling down… I managed to capture the incident on camera. When he fell down, his camera fell too and another policeman picked it up as Lwanga rolled over on the ground. A policeman came and started pulling Andrew from the ground. I felt bad and told journalists to go back and help lift our colleague so that he was not lifted in such a humiliating manner…” Galiwango told court.

Galiwango further said that Mwesigye beat another Vision Group journalist, Joseph Ssettimba using an electric cable which tore his trousers. He said that Mwesigye did not want to be captured on camera as he beat members of the unemployed youth group who were matching to the police headquarters through Namirembe road in Kampala, so he tried to chase away the journalists before he descended on Lwanga and Ssetimba as other journalists ran away.

Galiwango showed court a video footage of the alleged incident which he captured as Mwesigye assaulted the journalists. This was after court rejected a prayer by Mwesigye’s lawyer, George Spencer not to allow the video evidence on grounds that it was not tendered in by the media house’s librarian.

Prosecution led by State Attorney Edward Muhumuza alleges that on 12th January 2015, along Namirembe road in Kampala, Mwesigye assaulted Andrew Lwanga and damaged journalists’ cameras as they covered a demonstration by a group of unemployed youths.

The case was adjourned to 04th June, 2015 for further hearing.

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:
info@hrnjuganda.org

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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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