New Vision journalist Charles Etukuri who was released on Monday afternoon following abduction last week has spoken out on the circumstance surrounding his abduction.
The government newspaper investigative journalist was abducted by unknown people but on Monday High Court judge Lydia Mugambe ordered the Security Minister and the Internal Security Organisation to produce him dead or alive after a request by the New Vision.
Speaking to Nile Post shortly after his release, Etukuri said that while he was leaving office to go for a lunch meeting, he was picked up by men dressed in army uniform as he entered his vehicle.
“Just as I was about to enter my car, I saw a pickup being driven by soldiers stop and four men with guns jumped out. They handcuffed me and threw me in the passenger seat,”Etukuri starts his ordeal.
He says his head was covered and he was driven up to an unknown home where he was dumped in the garage adding that after an hour they removed the cuffs from his hands.
Reason for arrest
Etukuri narrates that his captors told him they were not comfortable with the story he wrote about the death of two foreigners at Pearl of Africa and Sheraton hotels under unclear circumstances.
“They told me they were uncomfortable with the headline but they did not dispute the facts. They said the headline was scaring away investors.”
According to the investigative journalist the officers from the Internal Security Organisation demanded to know his source of the story that he had written so as to help them with further investigations into the matter.
Asked whether he had been tortured, Etukuri said the only form of torture he underwent was psychological, adding that he was never beaten.
“On first day I slept on floor but was later given a mattress and blanket. The only scuffle I had was when the guard forced me to have breakfast following an earlier stomach upset following the first food I ate,” he said.
He said he recorded statements before meeting the ISO Director General Col.Kaka Bagyenda on Sunday who explained to him the reason for the arrest before counselling him.
“He told me the dangers of the story I had written and before warning me to always get the other side in the story.”
Etukuri said that his captors drove him up to the exact place at the New Vision offices where they picked him and dropped him.
Speaking to the Nile Post, Vision Group lawyer Tony Kirabira expressed happiness over the release of the company’s employee but noted they would have to subject him a medical examination.
“He needs medical attention and counselling. Though he is physically fine, he could have been tortured psychologically,”Kirabira said.
“We will put it to the attention of the court so his tormentors can compensate him.
A few weeks ago, two foreigners Thomas Juha Petteri Terasvouri from Finland and Axel Ssebastian Andreas from Sweden were found dead in their hotel rooms in Kampala under unknown circumstances.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima on Monday told journalists that toxicology reports made by the Government Analytical Laboratory found out that the two investors had foreign objects in their bodies which was unusual.
He added that the deceased’s bodies had been flown back to their home countries for burial but noted investigations into the deaths were still ongoing.
“Five suspects are still recording statements with our sister agencies but we have written to them (security agencies) to send them to us to have their statements recorded,”Kayima said without divulging more information.