Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In support of free press in Uganda

The Center for Global Peace Journalism strongly condemns the Ugandan government’s actions against the Daily Monitor newspaper, the Red Pepper newspaper, and two Kampala radio stations. Yesterday, according to a statement from the newspaper, about 50 armed men in police uniforms stormed the company's premises with a search warrant, blocked all exits and insisted they wanted to conduct a search. The statement said, “Instead of carrying out the search, the armed men disabled the printing press, computer servers and radio transmission equipment. The intention was to prevent the Monitor from operating broadcasting and printing its newspapers. ‘We are horrified by this act, which is a gross disregard of Ugandan Law and a violation of The Monitor's constitutional right,’ said Mr. Alex Asiimwe, The MPL Managing Director.

The foundation of a free society is a free press. If the Monitor’s rights are taken away, who is next? Certainly, actions like these put Uganda on a slippery slope that leads inexorably to oppression and dictatorship.

We call on the Museveni government to immediately allow the Monitor and its sister media outlets to re-open, and further that the Monitor be paid restitution for the losses it has incurred as a result of this incident.

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