HRNJ-Uganda alert, Uganda Human Rights Commission starts hearing of a journalist case after three years.

Kampala, 21st/August/2014; Hearing of a complaint in which, Gideon Tugume, a journalist formerly working with Capital Radio, accuses the Uganda Police Force of shooting and causing grave injuries to him while covering the return of Dr Kiiza Besigye from Nairobi in May 2011 has kicked off Thursday August 21, at the Uganda Human Rights Commission Tribunal with the victim implicating the police chief’s body guard in the shooting.
Appearing before Commissioner Violet Akurut Adowe, at Ntinda, Tugume recounted that on that day, while covering the said events at Kibuye round about, he was shot by one of the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura’s body guards at around 2pm.
“I raised my hands up saying please don’t shoot I am a journalist. Before I completed my sentence, I felt a sharp pain on my right knee before suddenly falling down,” Tugume told the Tribunal, adding that he was wearing a press jacket, an identification press tag and held his audio recorder. He said after the shooting he was rushed to Mulago hospital by a police ambulance where he spent a night before being transferred to AAR Health Services in Kololo.
Tugume further told the Tribunal that a few months later after the shooting, Capital Radio his employer then terminated his services for continuous absence from duty due to the injuries sustained and has since remained jobless.
Another witness, Lubwama Kajoba, who was also covering the events, testified before the Tribunal that he saw a “uniformed police officer shooting at Tugume at Kibuye round about”.
In 2011, Tugume through Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) filed a complaint before the Uganda Human Rights Commission alleging a violation of his right to protection from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. Tugume seeks compensation and protection from further harassment by the Police force.
HRNJ-Uganda legal officer, Catherine Anite is Counsel for the complainant while Richard Adrole is representing the Attorney General. The matter was adjourned to September 18th 2014 for further hearing.
“HRNJ-Uganda is hopeful that justice will prevail. This matter has dragged, so we implore the Uganda Human Rights Commission to expeditiously hear and determine this and other complaints on infringement of media rights filed by journalists years back.” said Robert Ssempala, the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator.

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Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.