Police has been shortlisted as the most leading state security agency of human and media rights violations with just a day to celebrate world press freedom day tomorrow.
This has been revealed by Human Rights network work for journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-U) during the launch of “press freedom index report-2016, Kampala, speaking before media, Robert Ssempala, National coordinator Human rights network for journalists-Uganda said out of 135 cases registered within the whole report, police committed 83 cases accounting to 61%, community 24 accounting to 17%, employers/radio management 8 accounting to 6%, legislators 5 making 3.7%, judiciary 3 making 2.2%, private guards 3 accounting to 2.2%, UPDF 2 accounting to 1.5%, RDCs 3 making 2.2%, political party (NRM) 2 making 1.5%, local council, and Uganda prisons services committed 1each accounting to 0.7% making a total of 135 recorded in the whole report, adding that for the last four years police alone have committed 315 cases, judiciary 43, UPDF 11, RDCs 17 amongst others.
He notes that among the key findings made, the Uganda police force for the four consecutive years have topped the list of violators of media rights and freedom, police and other state agents and powerful individuals manipulated laws to suit their aims of curtailing media freedoms and silencing journalists, and there was no government intervention to improve the legal and policy framework to enhance media freedom .
Now Ssempala urged to police authorities to popularise the prevention and prohibition of torture act 2012 throughout the force particularly the imperative of individual accountability, the Uganda human rights commission acting on its own initiative as per article 52(1)(a) of the constitution of Uganda to conduct comprehensive and effective investigations into the numerous cases of violations against journalists by state agencies specifically the Uganda police force, government to expeditiously review the mandate Uganda Communications commission with a view of splitting it into two distinct bodies one to handle telecommunication and another to handle broadcasting with a mandate to which combine media development and regulations.
Meanwhile the Emilian Kayima, Kampala metropolitan police publicist who was given a copy of a report and represented the police, said as police, they are going to pass through the report and internalise it carefully to come up with the way forward thus appealing to journalists to act in line with their ethics and the constitution of Uganda.