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Third journalist shot while covering political events in Uganda

HRNJ-Uganda

This statement was originally published on hrnjuganda.org on 17 November 2015.

On 16 November 2015, Delta TV journalist Isaac Kugonza, was shot in the head by police and rushed to Mulago National Referral hospital in critical condition. Blood was oozing from his head and mouth. Another unidentified woman was also reportedly shot in the scuffle, as police arrested the Capital City's Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago.

Delta TV news editor, Prossy Margaret Kisitu told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda that Isaac' skull had been cracked, “A scan shows that his skull has cracked. He is in severe pain. He can't open his mouth, he can't talk. He lay unconscious for the rest of the day since he was hit,” Kisitu told HRNJ-Uganda in an interview as she took care of Isaac at the hospital. The scan was reportedly paid for by the police. His video camera was also damaged in the process.

Police fired teargas, rubber and live bullets to disperse Lukwago's supporters who were opposed to a move by police to block him from walking to the Electoral Commission headquarters in Kampala to return his Mayoral nominations papers, despite an earlier move by the Commission to adjourn the nomination process. Lukwago – who is a prominent member of the opposition – was arrested at his home in Wakaligga, Kampala and detained at Naggalama Police Station, outside of the capital.

Isaac is the third journalist to be shot while covering political events in less than two months. Matovu Enock, a journalist with NTV, was shot on 29 October 2015 at Mityana. Ivan Vincent Mukisa was shot on the 15th of the same month in Jinja. A dozen others have been assaulted in line of duty in the same period of time by police, politicians, and mobs. No investigations have been conducted into said violations.

“The police should investigate these various attacks on journalists and also ensure the safety and security of journalists on duty. The media should be allowed to cover all matters of national importance ahead of the 2016 general elections,” said the HRNJ-Uganda national coordinator, Robert Ssempala

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