Journalists under the umbrella of Online Media Publishers Association have this evening demanded for unconditional release of two Investigator News Journalists.
The Uganda Police Force On Wednesday evening detained Stanley Ndawula, the proprietor of Investigator News and Robert Ndawula, a reporter of the same online media house.
The duo was arrested after being interrogated at Police’s Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (CIID). The police is said to be holding the two journalists on charges related to offensive communication under the Computer Misuse Act.
Stanley Ndawula, who has previously criticized the police leadership, alleges some powerful officials in the law enforcement body, want him remanded at Luzira Prison.
He further states he was provided documents to sign for police bond which was not granted to him before being driven to Kiira Road Police Station in Kampala where he is incarcerated.
Other journalists who appeared at the police station to check on their colleague were also asked to record statements.
“We call on Police authorities to stop this arbitrary harassment of journalists and respect freedom of the press, as called for in the country’s constitution,” the journalists say, adding that; “When the public’s right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.”
The oneline journalsts under their president Gile Muhame, say that a free press is the cornerstone of democracy. “We need a free press. We must have it,” they say.
The journalists have urged the Police force to always be mindful of Article 20 and Article 221, which require that all organs and agencies of government including security organizations and all persons must observe, uphold and respect human rights and freedoms in the performance of their functions.
Muhame says OMPA is currently in talks with relevant authorities to secure the journalists’ unconditional release from detention.