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Police Arrests Journalists Covering Opponents of Age Limit Removal

This statement was originally published on on September 20, 2017.

Police in Wadegeya arrested and detained five journalists who were covering a press conference at Mulago Kubiri- a Kampala surbub, organized   by youth activists-Youth Against Dictatorship protesting the constitutional amendment of the presidential  age limit clause.

The journalists included, Akatuhurira Nelson and  Livingstone Matovu both of B24 Television, Bulegeya Ronnie of Dream Television, Kyambadde Lawrence of Salt Media and Titus Jjemba of BBS Television.

“We were arrested and bundled onto the police pickup truck by officers under the command of a one Kasembeza and taken to Wandegeya Police Station,” said Akatuhurira Nelson.

He further told HRNJ-Uganda that while at the police station, they were interrogated for about twenty minutes on who mobilized them to cover the press conference and why they give coverage to such people.

The journalists were released without recording any statement.

“The police officers confiscated our gadgets but they were returned without deleting any information upon our release,” Bulegeya informed HRNJ-Uganda. Adding that the Officer in Charge Wandegeya Police Station Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Abwang Samuel warned them against covering such people and in the alternative inform them if they are to give coverage to such activities.

When HRNJ-Uganda contacted the Police Spokesperson Kampala Metropolitan Police Emilian Kayima, he confirmed the arrest but attributed it to an operational mishap by the field officers contending that the journalists were unconditionally released by the police when they identified themselves.

Close to ten journalists have been arrested or assaulted in relation to the coverage of views of people in or against the constitutional amendment of the age limit clause in a space of one week.

Article 102(b) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda that is being sought to be amended is to the effect that a person does not qualify to contest for presidency if he/she is less than thirty five years (35) or above seventy five (75) years).

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