Breaking

Lawyers Condemn Unfair Treatment of Gulu Journalists

The two journalists Willy Chowoo, of Choice FM and Jernan Loum, a former employee of Favour of God FM in Gulu Town are accused of defaming an American national Carole Ward, the Director of Favour of God Ministries.
journalist Willy Chowoo, holding a phone during an event at Pece Stadium, Gulu

Audio 2

Lawyers have condemned the unfair treatment of two Gulu based journalists.  

The two journalists Willy Chowoo, of Choice FM and Jernan Loum, a former employee of Favour of God FM in Gulu Town are accused of defaming an American national Carole Ward, the Director of Favour of God Ministries.

They were arrested in Gulu on 2nd August and taken to Criminal Investigations Division-CID headquarters in Kibuli, Kampala and later released on police bond.

Their arrest followed a directive from the Department of Cyber-crime following a complaint filed by Carole Ward at Kibuli Police.

As part of the police bond requirements, the journalists are supposed to report to Kibuli CID almost weekly.

However, the police have come under criticism from human rights activists.

Ladislaus Rwakafuzi says the move is intended to break their spirit, and resolve, adding that it is a great injustice. He explains that the suspect should have been charged from Gulu, where the alleged crime was committed.

Rwakafuuzi also says that traveling to and from Gulu strains the suspects since they have to meet transport and accommodation costs.  

//Cue in: “And also it…

Cue out… many many people”

Nicholas Opio, a human rights lawyer says Police has every department represented upcountry and there is no need to drive the journalists to Kampala and have them report every week from Gulu. He says Police is ignoring the systems they have.

“It is intended to abuse them, by making it impossible for them to access justice. Why would you bring someone to Kampala from upcountry over allegations of defamation” Opio said.

However, the spokesperson CID Vincent Ssekatte says that the suspects were brought to Kampala because the complainant was reported in Kampala and not Gulu. He also says the journalists are not being harassed but are only expected to meet their bond terms. 

Asked if the journalists fail to report to the police weekly due to lack of transport, Ssekatte says the bond terms are clearly spelt out and the suspects could be arrested for breaching them.  

//Cue in: “Of course if…

Cue out:…is a communication”//