Police have released four comedians after charging them with sectarianism

The four arrested comedians in a group photo Courtsey photo

Kampala, 28th/ July 2020; Police at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has released four comedians known as Bizonto who work with Radio Simba morning show called Binsangawano, were arrested on 24th

The comedians were charged with promoting sectarianism for releasing a video clip on Youtube mentioning Ugandan leaders in key government positions along with the Ugandan President.

The comedians include Simatono Gold Kay aka Jjajja Zonto, Mbabali Marseri aka Giant Zonto, Serwanja Julius aka Ssabazonto and SSabakaaki Simon Peter aka Akazonto akato.

Different human rights organizations, activists, artists as well as comedians crowded SIU at Kireka to demand the release of the suspects. They all criticized the government for arresting the comedians and singer who are legally exercising their right to freedom of expression and speech.

Her Worship Stella Maris Amabilis Odong, a Senior Grade 1 Magistrate had also ordered the police Chief, CIID Director, the Commandant of SIU, and all police officers to release the suspects unconditionally following the expiry of the 48 mandatory hours of detention in police cells.

The suspects soon after their release at Kireka, told journalists that they believe they are innocent because all they talked about were facts, to which there was no complainant, vowing not to be taken back from exercising their rights within the framework of the law. They are due to report back on 31st July, at 10 am local time.

Meanwhile, another journalist Abby Sewagiryanga aka Basajjamivule a presenter at Baba TV who was arrested on the 27th of July 2020 on allegations of promoting Sectarianism is still detained at SIU.

“We are happy that the police released the comedians. We hope Basajjamuvile will also be released in the same vein. We urge the police to respect the fundamental right to freedom of expression and speech and desist from arresting media personalities who exercise it lawfully. We are happy that different organisations and activists all came to demand the release of the suspects.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda Executive Director, Robert Ssempala

HRNJ-UG Admin

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.

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