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Vision Group journalist attacked by mob while on assignment in Uganda

Dickson Mutebi/Facebook

Five people have been arrested in Bukomansimbi over the violent assault of Vision Group journalist Dickson Mutebi. He was covering a story about the residents of Butenga village, in Butenga Sub County, protesting the manner in which police has handled matters regarding Augustine Ssebuliba and Norah Nazziwa. Ssebuliba and Nazziwa were accused of human sacrifice and the burial a body in a banana plantation.

Mutebi was attacked during a scuffle between the two warring factions of residents. One group of angry residents had stormed the Butenga police post on Wednesday 6, August 2014, in an attempt to access and lynch the suspect. However, the group collided with another group of residents who supported the accused. Ssebuliba who is accused along with Nazziwa, was arrested and detained at the Butenga police post.

During the fray, numerous people descended on the journalist and beat him with rods and rubbles.

He sustained serious injuries to the head and was rushed by police to Butenga Health Centre IV for medical attention.

Bukomansimbi District Police Commander Gertrude Tamaye, confirmed the attack. She said five people have so far been arrested in connection with assault. They include: Regina Nakanwagi, Steven Kanakulya, Joseph Lubega, Kakembo Joseph and Christopher Jjuko. They have been transferred to Masaka central police station as police continue with further investigations.

HRNJ-Uganda was not able to speak to the victim journalist by the time this alert was issued. However, Eddie Bindhe – a journalist with the Uganda Radio Network who witnessed the incident – told HRNJ-Uganda that he was concerned about Mutebi's condition. “If it was not [for] the police to intervening on time, the journalist would have been killed by the mo,b” said Bindhe.

In September, 2010, Commercial motor cyclists locally known as bodabodas in Rakai district in Southern Buganda beat up a Top radio correspondent Paul Kiggundu to death. HRNJ-Uganda strongly condemns such acts of people taking the law into their hands. We also commend area police for acting swiftly to save the life of the journalist and consequently arresting some of the suspects. We implore police to expeditiously investigate this matter and bring all the perpetrators of this mob justice to book.

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