Incidents of violence and abuse against the media increased in 2018, according to a newly-released Press Freedom Index.
The Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) in its 10th edition of the index, states that it documented 163 cases of violations and abuses against journalists and media houses in 2018.
This is an escalation, if compared to the 117 cases registered in 2017.
“Going by the statistics, there is a very profound cause for worry as to the course of events in the country in terms of democratization,” said HRNJ-Uganda Executive Director Robert Ssempala.
The report notes that despite increased “vigilance and activism for press freedom, there is still widely entrenched impunity enjoyed by perpetrators, especially the Sstate actors like the police, army, RDCs and politicians.”
Mr Ssempala reiterated the important role the media plays in enlightening the populace and holding leaders accountable.
According to the report, the police led in violations against journalists and their media houses, while the army, Resident District Commissioners and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) also featured prominently.
In 2017, violations and abuse against the media, were largely perpetrated by state and non-state actors who used problematic provisions of the law, illegal and unilateral actions to undermine media freedoms. The police and UCC featured as lead perpetrators that year.
To read or download the full report, click here.