Attacks Against Journalists During Elections


24th February 2011

Kampala: Attacks against journalists during elections in Kampala, Uganda condemned

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) and Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) are deeply concerned and strongly condemn the recent attacks on journalists during the mayoral elections in Kampala on February 23 2011. Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of any democracy and the upholding and respect of this right is significant especially during elections.

While Ugandans were voting for their local council chairpersons and district councillors as well as Mayors for municipalities on 23 February 2011, six journalists were reported to have been attacked and beaten during a scuffle that ensued at Kakeeka polling station in Rubaga division in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Kakeeka is the voting station at which mayoral candidate Peter Sematimba of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) was registered to vote.
buy bactroban online over the counter

Reports indicated that violence was sparked by supporters of Mr. Sematimba when voters started questioning the existence of ballot boxes stuffed with ballot papers at the beginning of the voting exercise.
buy doxycycline online over the counter

It is reported that several ballot boxes were found filled with pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of Peter Sematimba. As a result of this and other widespread malpractices covering other parts of Kampala city, the voting process was suspended by the Electoral Commission.

The six journalists attacked included; Nabazziwa Lydia a reporter from Bukedde TV, Nixon Bbaale a camera man and Brian Nsimbe, a reporter, both from Channel 44 TV, Nabukeera Florence a reporter with Bukedde newspaper, Namatumbwe Christine a reporter and News anchor at Metro FM whose radio recorder, mobile phone and hand bag were all stolen and Jane Anyango, a senior reporter with UBC TV.

The media is a watchdog of society and plays an important role of ensuring accountability and prompting checks and balances. It should be the duty of government to ensure that media persons are not unduly hindered in the course of executing their duties because such attacks, especially during this time of political transition where people must have access to balanced information in order to make informed decisions, has a wide implication on the freedom of expression and access to information in Uganda,” says Hassan Shire Sheikh the Executive Director of EHAHDP. Click here to read the full release.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.