JEEMA condemns arbitrary detention of journalists

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JEEMA condemns arbitrary detention of journalists
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The Justice Forum (JEEMA) has criticised the arrest and subsequent remanding of journalists Arirabaki Sengooba and Dickson Mubiru to Luzira Prison.

The two journalists from Grape Vine Publications and Ono Bwiino Newspaper face charges of publishing without a valid broadcasting licence.

The controversy stems from two news stories: one about a dispute between lawyer Steven Kalali and High Court Judge Alexandra Nkonge Rugadya, and another alleging corruption within the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) in Parliament.

JEEMA spokesperson Swaib Kaggwa condemned the police's actions, calling them illegal.

"The police have no legal mandate to question or dispute content expressed by citizens, including media professionals," Kaggwa said.

The police not only detained the journalists but also confiscated company property, including laptops and phones, and subjected the journalists to intense interrogations.

JEEMA sees these actions as attempts to suppress press freedom and disrupt journalistic activities.

"We deem it unprofessional for the police to seize company property, effectively paralyzing operations," said Kaggwa.

JEEMA urges security agencies to uphold the principles of a free press and cease the harassment of journalists.

"This police action is a clear attempt to suppress truth and undermine democratic values," Kaggwa said.

JEEMA stands in solidarity with the affected journalists and the broader media community, advocating for media freedom in Uganda.

The journalists were remanded to Luzira following their appearance before Buganda Road Court magistrate Ronald Kayizzi, where they denied the charges.

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