Ashraf Kasirye, a Ghetto TV journalist, Ali Mivule of NTV and Daniel Lutaaya of NBS were targeted at Lwengo and Kasirye is still fighting for his life at Lubaga Hospital after undergoing head surgery as a result of a teargas canister that was fired at him and exploded on his head.
The Inspector General of Police –IGP Martin Okoth
Ochola, has sworn that security agencies will continue beating journalists
purposely to ‘deter’ them from going where there is danger.
Ochola, who was speaking at joint election security
and preparedness, said he was unapologetic that journalists have been
clobbered during their line of duty because they went where there was danger, contrary to police guidance.
Journalists, according to Ochola, often refuse to
follow guidance by security forces, a reason they end up being beaten purposely
for their own safety. Ochola said security forces do not target the media but
fracas ensues when they fail to observe security guidance.
“What I am saying, when we tell a journalist do not go
there and you insist that you are going there. We need you and you need us. We shall
beat you for your own safety. We shall use reasonable force to ensure you do
not go where there is a risk,” Ochola said.
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Three journalists were injured by police in Lwengo
District on December 27, 2020 as they covering the campaign of National
Unity Platform –NUP presidential candidate, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias
Ashraf Kasirye, a Ghetto TV journalist, Ali Mivule of
NTV and Daniel Lutaaya of NBS at Lwengo and Kasirye is
still fighting for his life at Lubaga hospital after undergoing head
surgery as a result of a teargas canister that was fired at him and exploded on his head.
Ochola said several journalists have always portrayed the
security agencies as being brutal. The IGP added that in some instances the
media depict security agencies as they are against the government.
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Deputy IGP Maj Gen Paul Lokech, said several journalists
are covering election events without accreditation from the Media Council. Lokech
urged journalists to cooperate with security agencies for their own safety.
AIGP Edward Osiru Ochom, who is police’s director for
Operations, said police have arrested 17 activists on Kyagulanyi's campaign trail
putting on press jackets yet they have no known media house they are working for.
Ochom blamed journalist for not denouncing activists posturing as journalists.
The joint briefing on election security and preparedness was attended by Internal Affairs minister Gen Jeje Odongo, Defence minister Adolf Mwesige, Deputy Land forces Commander Maj Gen Sam Kavuma and others.
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.