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Journalist's home set ablaze

(HRNJ-Uganda/IFEX) - Kabale, 11 May 2011 - Unidentified assailants set fire to "New Vision" journalist Goodluck Musinguzi's home on the night 10 May 2011. Musinguzi's home is located at Hamabare village, Rushaki ward, Southern division, in Kabale municipality.

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that the assailants dispensed petrol around his house. They also used a sponge which had been dampened in petrol to start the fire.

"We were awakened by the fire, which was started near my bedroom window, and by a barking dog. I, my wife and the three daughters took refuge in the seating room where we raised rescue alarms. I reported the matter to HRNJ-Uganda, which rallied for police intervention," said Musinguzi.

Kabale District Police Commander (DPC) Charles Ssebambulidde told HRNJ-Uganda that an empty bottle used to carry petrol and a burnt cloth were found at the scene. He said however that police had not arrested anybody in connection to the attack, despite the fact that an investigation had been launched immediately after visiting the scene.

A week earlier, Musinguzi wrote a story about two suspected Congolese rebels - Patice Habarurema and Olivier Muhindo - who were killed mysteriously in Kisoro, near the Uganda-Rwanda border. The murder resulted in the arrest of the intelligence officer for the 63rd Battalion. Musinguzi has also written extensively on other controversial stories, including the Kabale Resident Commissioner who allegedly pulled a gun on staff at a local utility office, and reported on two Ugandan nationals (including a radio worker) who were arrested in Rwanda on suspicion that they were recruiting rebels to topple President Paul Kagame's government.

Meanwhile, security forces have barred journalists from accessing Entebbe airport ahead of the return of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader, Dr. Kiiza Besigye, from Kenya. Dr. Besigye was transferred to a Nairobi hospital after a brutal police arrest.

HRNJ-Uganda calls on police in Kabale to guarantee Musinguzi's safety and arrest those responsible for the attack on his home.

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