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Ugandan press finds unexpected ally in judiciary

(CPJ/IFEX) - 9 July 2012 - The following is a CPJ blog post:

By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Consultant

With a medical drip attached to his hand, camped outside police headquarters along Parliamentary Avenue in Uganda's capital, Kampala, William Ntege was determined to get his video cameras back. Police had beaten Ntege, a journalist with the private broadcaster WBS, and damaged two of his cameras as he covered elections last year, according to local reports.

"I am here for my two cameras that were destroyed by the Ugandan police. We are fed up," read a placard Ntege held up to passing police and the public last week before being invited in by the police for negotiations, according to local journalists.

Ntege was finally compensated for his cameras, but he is still pushing for the officers who assaulted him to be prosecuted. No police officer has been reprimanded this year for any of 14 cases of assault, CPJ research shows. But Ntege's small victory represents one in a series of recent journalist triumphs over police, previously viewed as the archenemy.

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