Police chief’s sickness triggers abuse of media

kale_kayihura_486556283From HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala, Uganda,KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – UGANDAN authorities are cracking down on journalists reporting on the ill health of Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura. The head of police has reportedly been in Turkey for treatment of an undisclosed illness but is said to be critical.
Privately-owned newspapers are on the receiving end of the resultant intimidation of the press, with five publications alleging harassment.Among those summoned by the feared Criminal Investigations Directorate(CID) is editor Ben Byarabaha who is alleged to
have intended to “disturb the peace and quiet” as well as intruding on the privacy of Kayihura.The Media Crimes Unit of the CID interrogated Byarabaha for five hours at its headquarters in Kampala this week.He has been ordered to appear again next Tuesday to answer to allegations of “offensive communication.”Sections of the Uganda’s Computer Misuse Act defines offensive communication as the use of electronic communication to “disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person”. Media rights groups raised concern at the developments.“Summoning editor Ben Byarabaha to endure hours of interrogation has a chilling effect on the Ugandan press,” said Committee to Protect Journalists Africa Programme Coordinator, Angela Quintal. She said Ugandan journalists should be permitted to report freely on government officers whose well-being was a matter of public interest.
The East African country’s Independent Media Council reports journalists live in fear of arrest if they write about public officials.In April, a university lecturer, Stella Nyanzi, has previously spent weeks in detention after criticizing First Lady Janet Museveni on social media. Nyanzi took Museveni to task on the unfulfilled promise of distribution of free sanitary towels to schoolgirls.
– CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=20674

Posted by on Jun 23 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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