In Jinja, Uganda, the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Mariam Wangadya, has requested journalists who were assaulted while covering the arrival of National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi to submit complaints to the commission. Wangadya made this request during an address to journalists at the Jinja Regional Human Rights Office in Jinja City.
She emphasized that journalists should feel free to register complaints of human rights violations, and assured them that the commission would conduct thorough investigations into their cases.
According to the Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), more than 14 journalists were arrested, and several others were physically assaulted during a military-led operation at Katabi along Entebbe Road and Mpererwe in Kampala. Their equipment, including phones and cameras, was also confiscated.
Here is a table listing the names of some of the affected journalists:
While the journalists were eventually released, some of them alleged that security personnel had assaulted them. The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, stated that security personnel mistook the journalists for NUP supporters due to a lack of identification.
Wangadya noted that she is awaiting a detailed report of the events that transpired. She also expressed concern about journalists who tend to withdraw complaints from the commission prematurely, even before investigations are concluded.
Jackie Nambogga, the Chairperson of the Busoga Media Association (BUSOMA), encouraged journalists to actively pursue cases against those who had assaulted them. Nambogga emphasized that successfully prosecuting human rights violators, whether through the courts of law or UHRC tribunals, would deter further acts of torture against journalists.