Attacks on the Press in 2005 - Snapshots: Uganda
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||February 2006|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2005 - Snapshots: Uganda, February 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c567222.html [accessed 25 July 2014]|
In June, a local official in the town of Soroti ordered David Enyaku, a journalist working for the government-owned New Vision, arrested when Enyaku tried to interview him about land allocation. Enyaku was detained for two nights and charged with "criminal trespassing."
Authorities shut the independent radio station KFM for a week in August. The action came after the station aired a talk show hosted by veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda, focusing on the July helicopter crash that killed southern Sudanese leader John Garang. President Yoweri Museveni said the government would shut down any news outlet that "plays around with regional security."
The day after authorities shuttered KFM, police arrested Mwenda and charged him with sedition. The charge stemmed from a KFM program in which Mwenda criticized Museveni and suggested that Ugandan government incompetence was responsible for the helicopter crash that killed Garang. Mwenda was released on bail after three days in detention, but he faces five years in jail and a fine if convicted. In November, the government brought 13 additional charges against him, including sedition and "promoting sectarianism."
In November, the government threatened to close The Monitor, Uganda's leading independent daily, over a story about President Yoweri Museveni's choice for army chief. The newspaper's managing director, Conrad Nkutu, told CPJ that authorities also pressured the paper's management to fire Mwenda, who wrote the article.
Also in November, the government ordered local journalists not to discuss or comment on the scheduled trial of jailed opposition leader Kizza Besigye on charges of treason, terrorism, and rape. Troops barred journalists from attending a court hearing in the case.
The same month, police entered The Monitor as the paper was printing an issue that carried a paid advertisement soliciting contributions for "The Kizza Besigye Human Rights Fund." They harassed staff, saying the advertisement was illegal. Police also stopped the newspaper's delivery vans at several roadblocks and confiscated the paper in at least two towns.