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Top journalist released from detention, his offices raided and materials seized

(Media Institute/IFEX) - Renowned Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda was freed on police bond late on 26 April 2008, after a thorough search by police of his newspaper offices. Mwenda was also ordered to report to police on 29 April.

Police claimed the arrest and search was in connection with seditious material the journalist allegedly possessed and intended to publish in his newspaper, "The Independent".

Mwenda told the Media Institute on 28 April that he suspected the police wanted to prevent publication of a story based on interviews with 17 suspects detained by police in camps commonly known as "safe houses". The interviews were conducted a week prior to the raid.

During the raid, police confiscated equipment including computers, laptops and audio CDs. The raid came a week after Mwenda accused President Yoweri Museveni of corruption on a popular radio talk show.

It remains to be seen whether he will be charged, and if so for what alleged offence. Mwenda has a petition pending in the Uganda constitutional court challenging the validity of the offence of sedition that is yet to be concluded.

For a detailed account of the raid, see: http://www.eastafricapress.net

Updates the Mwenda case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/93046

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