By Henry D Gombya
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) yesterday “vigorously condemned the clamp down on the media in Uganda” after the country’s leading national daily, The Daily Monitor and a daily tabloid the Red Pepper were besieged by heavily armed police on the pretext of looking for a letter that the two newspaper had published the previous week.
In a statement, Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director said: “This is a real affront on media freedom. Uganda is definitely becoming a country where press freedom abuses and violations are widely perpetrated by the police with total impunity. This must stop immediately.” As we went this online newspaper went to bed this morning, both the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper premises were still out of bounds for hundreds of journalists and both papers are spending a third day without appearing on the streets.
In London, the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) is weighing its response to what many journalists here see as a blatant abuse of the freedom of the press by the Ugandan authorities. Two radio stations owned by the Monitor Publications, KFM and Dembe FM were also still off air after police allegedly dismantled power connections for the two stations when they first raided the Monitor offices on Monday.