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Uganda

Journalist shot by police at Kizza Besigye rally in Uganda

Reuters/James Akena

Isaac Kasamani, a photographer for the Daily Monitor newspaper, was shot at by plain clothes security personnel travelling in a police van, as he covered a rally of opposition parties. 

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The opposition rally was held under the banner of the “Opposition for Change” grouping on 24 January this year.

Allegations of brutality by security forces against journalists, as well as proposed legislation to clamp down on independent reporting by newspapers, has forced Uganda 43 places down in the latest table ranking press freedom by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.

Speaking to RFI after the shooting, Kaamani said ‘they were three at the time but they targeted him because after seeing the police throwing tear gas he looked for a good position to take a picture and almost immediately the police, who were in civilian clothes, opened the van and shot at him’

He said after the shooting, it sped off and followed the leader of the Forum for Democratic Party, Kizza Besigye.

The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Ambassador James Baba, said the government and Ugandan police force will find an independent investigator from abroad, who will take over the investigation into this shooting.

The minister said, ‘I make a firm commitment to the people of Uganda that any criminal or improper conduct on the part of the police officer will be fully investigated and that any person found to have acted in an unlawful manner will face the full force of the law’

However, Kasamani said working in Uganda as a journalist carried terrible risks because of government bias towards the media.

The press freedom index notes an increased number of journalists being subjected to acts of violence carried out by security forces. Many were targeted in the recent “Walk to Work” protests and dozens were arrested.

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