More than a dozen journalists were arrested with several of them assaulted and their equipment confiscated by Ugandan security personnel during the coverage of the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine at Entebbe International Airport.
The arrival of Bobi Wine at Entebbe International Airport at 10 am was expected to commence the ‘One million march’ to Kampala City but was disrupted by his arrest by security personnel who drove him home and put him under house arrest.
Bobi Wine has become a staunch opponent to the long-serving President, Yoweri Museveni. In 2021, he competed against the president in the Ugandan General Elections. Political campaigns held before the January 2021 election were marred with widespread violence and human rights abuses, including killings by security forces, who also arrested and beat up opposition supporters and journalists. At a rally in Luuka, at least 54 people were killed after the arrest of Bobi Wine.
A statement by AFEX Member the Human Rights Network for Journalists, Uganda, has revealed that the arrested journalists had their statements taken even though the charges against them remained unclear.
The Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Mariam Wangadya has urged the journalists who have since been released from the Entebbe Police Station, to lodge a human rights violation complaint and the Commission will investigate.
AFEX calls on the security forces of Uganda to drop all unknown charges against journalists to enable them go about their professional duties without fear or favor.