UN’s Ban Informed On Uganda Media Siege


salve geneva;”>“The issue involving the closure of certain media in Uganda has been brought to the Secretary-General’s attention, link ” Ban’s office said in a response to

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“The Secretary-General is not in a position to make judgments about the specific circumstances of this case; however, it goes without saying that for the United Nations, as a matter of principle, freedom of speech and expression are fundamental and universal rights,” the statement further read.

The operations of Red Pepper, Daily Monitor and its sister radio stations – KFM and Dembe FM were shut down on Monday by armed police personnel.

The premises were cordoned off and declared crime scenes for publishing a letter authored by Gen David Sejusa in which he calls for an investigation into reports that army officers opposed to the idea of Brig Kainerugaba Muhoozi’s succeeding his father, President Museveni, are targeted for assassination.

The army vehemently denied the charge.

According to the United Nations statement, “The Secretary-General believes that, in any democracy, it is essential for there to be freedom of expression and for the media to be able to carry out its functions freely and independently.”

It remains unclear if Ban discussed the media closure with his host, President Yoweri Museveni today.

Several activists, politicians, diplomats and the foreign media have denounced the media crackdown, saying it violates press freedoms.

Red Pepper offices remain under police siege. Sources say the news editor, Ben Byarabaha, recorded a statement on how he obtained documents related to the Sejusa saga including his 1996 resignation letter.

Meanwhile, High Court has set May 30 as the date for the hearing of an application by Monitor Publications Limited to cancel a court order, compelling editors and reporters to produce the original letter that was written by Gen David Sejusa.

Monitor on Friday reported that the application would be heard by Justice Benjamin Kabiito


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