US ambassador to Uganda Natalie E Brown and the UN office have called on the Ugandan government to investigate circumstances under which reporters and photographers covering the presentation by opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of a petition to the United Nations Human Rights Office.
On February 17, Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform (NUP) delivered his petition to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR).
Although the UN in Uganda described the meeting as peaceful, and thanked officers of the Very Important Protection Unit (VVIPU) of Uganda Police Force for playing their role well, the office accused security agencies of violence ahead of the presentation.
The UN complained that military police had “used excessive force to prevent a number of persons accompanying the NUP delegation from accessing OHCHR offices.”
Those attacked included John Cliffe Wamala and Jeff Twesigye of NTV Uganda, Josephine Namakumbi and Joseph Sabiti of NBS, Rashid Nakayi of Galaxy FM, Vision Group’s Timothy Murungi and Irene Abalo of Daily Monitor.
US ambassador Brown noted that “journalists should not be attacked for doing their job,” adding that “whenever assaulted, swift, public, transparent investigations must follow to ensure justice is served and to restore public trust” and “those who violate press freedom must be held to account.”