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Ugandan journalist murdered

On 16 June 2013, a Vision Group journalist, Pere Thomas, was killed by unknown assailants. His body was found lying at Masajja – along Entebbe road with a deep cut on the head. His photo camera, laptop and cellular phone were stolen.

Thomas, 36, a resident of Kawuku, in the Wakiso district, reportedly left work at New Vision at around midnight with a laptop, photo camera and a mobile phone as he headed back home. “His body was found in the morning lying along Busabala road, in Masajja Kibira A zone. It was a smart body, with a wound on the forehead. There were no traces of evidence. The body was taken to Mulago hospital for medical examination,” the officer in charge of criminal investigations at Katwe Police Station, Ayebare Emmanuel Benon told the Human Rights Network for Journalists -Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda).

“We suspect that he boarded a taxi that had thieves as he went back to Kawuku (his home place) yesterday evening. I think when he saw that the taxi had thieves, he decided to fight back and he was hit by an iron bar on the head before he was dumped in a trench [because] there was no scuffle,” Norman Katende, his immediate supervisor at New Vision told HRNJ-Uganda. He had worked with the Vision Group for over 9 years as a freelance journalist. “Thomas Pere, you have gone too soon and I will always remember your newsroom argument and development talk. Sad that the iron bar hit men ended your life like that,” Katende said of Thomas.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Pere. This is a very big misfortune to the journalism fraternity. We implore the police to investigate and bring the perpetrators to book. We want to know the cause of our colleague's sudden death,” said HRNJ-Uganda's national coordinator, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

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