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Ugandan police officer detained for joining locals in assault on journalist

A mob of over ten locals together with the police assaulted a Vision Group journalist, David Musisi, on 27 March 2014 as he covered a story about a disagreement over land ownership at Buziranjovu in Mukono district. The police arbitrarily arrested and detained the journalist; although he was later released without any charges against him.

"The police at Buziranjovu together with a mob of over ten people surrounded me as I was recording a disagreement over land between a foreign investor and the local occupying the land. They punched me, kicked me and tore my shirt and trousers. They tried to strangle me, my neck is paining. My camera was smashed though I held on to it. This police officer, who sided with the mob, arrested me and took me to Buziranjovu police station from where I was arrested for over twenty minutes. I was rescued by the DPC for Mukono." Musisi told HRNJ-Uganda.

The District Police Commander for Mukono Alfred Angambaki arrived in time to rescue the journalist. He arrested the police officer implicated in assaulting Musisi. "The journalist was roughed up. I cannot verify the extent of the damage. I arrested the police officer, and his currently locked up in our cell at Mukono. I have ordered for the arrest of all the implicated locals," he told HRNJ-Uganda.

Musisi opened up a case file on assault and malicious damage to property against the unnamed police officer and the locals. He told HRNJ-Uganda that he was experiencing severe pain in the neck and chest.

"We are happy about the rapid response by the DPC in rescuing the journalist. It's unfortunate that a police officer teams with the locals to attack a journalist. We want police to arrest all the culprits and thoroughly investigate the matter. The police should always provide security to journalists as they do their work," said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala.

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