CPJ urges Uganda authorities to protect journalists following assault News
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CPJ urges Uganda authorities to protect journalists following assault

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on Ugandan authorities Tuesday to investigate the Sunday assault of journalist Juliet Kyarisiima, hold the culprits accountable and ensure that journalists covering public events do not become victims of violence. Kyarisiima was assaulted whilst covering a public meeting on a land dispute.

According to the CPJ, when the meeting of the land dispute ended, a group of armed men came in and started assaulting the participants. Kyarisiima was ordered to hand over her camera, a bag containing her laptop and money. Furthermore, she was slapped in the face and hit on her right arm. The journalist has reported the incident to police, who recorded it as a ”simple robbery” case.

CPJ Africa Program coordinator Muthoki Mumo said that Ugandan journalists become victims of violence too often, with their attackers getting away unpunished. He stated culprits should be held accountable so journalists can safely do their jobs. CPJ has documented multiple attacks on journalists, including the harassment of seven journalists at news conferences last year and the robbing and assaulting of journalists covering local elections.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says that journalists in Uganda deal with intimidation and violence almost daily, being targeted by the country’s security services. Journalists who criticize Ugandan authorities and the human rights record of the country often face violence, abduction, arrest and confiscation of equipment.

The police in Uganda’s Buhweju District told CPJ that the police “would investigate Kyarisiima’s assault and robbery and make arrests.”