Much as Freedom from torture is a non-derogable right and cannot be justified in any situation, there have been a number of reports of torture with gruesome and horrific images of the victims of these acts.
Reports reaching our desk indicate that former NTN (NMG) journalist and camera person a one Shamba has flee from his home reportedly to United States following continuous threats towards him and his family.
Reports has it that the journalist has a variety of footage of torture that depicts Incarcerated former IGP Kayihura Men reign of torture and other security bodies. Apparently the whereabouts of both the journalist and his family are still unclear as police and CMI are yet to give any official comment Recently TV reporter Gertrude Uwitware was kidnapped and beaten over her coverage of a dispute between well-known university academic Stella Nyanzi and Janet Museveni, who is Uganda’s minister of education and President Yoweri Museveni’s wife.
As we write this , the situation of press freedom in Uganda continues to be eroded as police continue to kidnap and brutally detain journalists without clear explaination. In the same manner Journalist Herbert Zziwa was arrested together with another correspondent by security operatives in Arua town while covering the last day of Arua Municipality by-election campaigns which turned chaotic.
Security operatives, including the president’s special security force, used tear gas and live bullets to disperse crowds killing a driver belonging to opposition figure Robert Ssentamu . The Index, compiled by Reporters without Borders (RSF), shows that more and more democratically-elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion. The climate of hatred is steadily more visible in the Index, which evaluates the level of press freedom in 180 countries each year.
It is released ahead of the World Press Freedom Day marked annually on May 3. According to the report, hostility towards the media is no longer limited to authoritarian countries like Turkey and Egypt where “media-phobia” is so pronounced that journalists are routinely accused of terrorism and all those who don’t offer loyalty are arbitrarily imprisoned.
The report indicates that the phobia has spread to all parts of the world where more democratically elected leaders are openly displaying their disdain for the media by calling it names. In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has continuously referred to journalists as rumormongers and vampires.
Indeed, Uganda’s ranking in the index has dropped five places to 117 this year. Tanzania had the best ranking in East Africa at 93, followed by Kenya at 96. South Sudan was ranked 144 followed by Rwanda in the 156 and Burundi at 159. According to the index, journalists in Uganda face acts of intimidation and violence mostly carried out by security services, which beat and abduct journalists for any criticism of authorities.