By Our Reporter

KAMPALA: As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day under  the theme ”Journalism Under Digital Siege”, journalists in Uganda want the security personnel who torture them be held accountable.

In an interview with ugreports Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Ssempala Robert the Executive Director Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda {HRNJ-Uganda} revealed that 90% torture of the journalists is done by the security personnel.

Ssempala said that in their recent documented index, they have recorded 131 torture cases of which 82 were committed by Uganda Police Force {UPF}, 65 by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces {UPDF} while others by the Resident District Commissioners {RDCs}  and the Special Forces Commanders {SFCs}.

He stresses that no action has been taken by the government against these errant men in uniform. ”Journalists should take caution while executing their duty.”

Ssempala revealed that though they go to courts of law, it procrastinates for justice to be delivered, something he says affects the media practitioners.

Following the ban of some social media platforms in Uganda including Facebook, Ssempala has challenged the government to lift the ban since its also affecting the journalistic work.

Steven Wandera the President Greater-Masindi Media Practitioners Association an umbrella that joins journalists in Masindi, Buliisa and Kiryandongo districts explains that the Journalists right of expression has been infringed on since they are tortured and denied information.

He asserts that they are working under unbearable conditions, adding that it’s threatening the next generation. On the same note, he is challenging the government to intervene.

Dorothy Nyambubi, a journalist attached to Kings FM Masindi explains that denial of information, torture, intimidation, embarrassment, brutality mostly by security officers has demoralized many journalists thus quitting the profession.

She asserts that the security officers should respect the rights of media practitioners. ”If possible they should be trained on human rights violation since we are all of importance in this country.”

Joseph Baguma, a Vision Group Journalist says that as journalists commemorate the world press freedom day, they must not forget they are still tied with chains because of the poor working environment.

He asserts that the continued threats from the security officers and key decision makers in the government has its share to the gallant journalists to an extent that some who are weak hearted have abandoned the profession.

Jonan Wamara, a journalist attached to Kings FM Masindi challenges the government to hold errant security officers accountable since they also have right to information.

According to him, journalists are of great importance in the country thus they should be protected.
Zephania Ikiriza, a radio Journalist attached to Biiso FM Radio in Buliisa district stresses that the government has not played its role in protecting their rights adding that’s why Journalists are paid less compared to other sectors.

”Due to this, the security officers have not valued media because the government doesn’t so.”

He asked the government to regulate private media houses to pay journalists well so that they may compete in the markets mostly when prices of commodities are skyrocketing.

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