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Constitutional Court Justice Condemns State Violation of Press Freedoms

Justice of the Constitutional Court of Uganda Hon. Kenneth Kakuru has decried the continued violation of press freedoms and challenged the state to fulfil its constitutional duty.

He noted that while some few strides have been made over the years, viagra 100mg http://chicken33.com/commande/wp-includes/customize/class-wp-customize-partial.php they remain insignificant resulting into increased shrinkage of freedom of expression.

“The constitution guarantees freedom of expression but we continue to see this being curtailed. It’s not enough for citizens to sit and lament as they watch their rights being trumped on, healing ” he said Wednesday during the launch of the Africa Media Barometer report on the challenges facing media in Uganda.

Justice Kakuru pointed out that many of the legal frameworks passed by government are disguised with intentions to further shrink space for expression. Among them, he cited the Access to Information Act and Anti-terrorism Act.

“Police has adamantly chosen to flog citizens and journalists even when the constitution clearly prohibits such acts. If a convicted armed robber cannot be subjected to corporal punishment, where does police get the authority to flog innocent citizens? This is unacceptable,” Justice Kakuru noted adding voice to critics of police brutality.

The Africa Media Barometer report highlights some of the impediments facing Uganda’s media. These include state censorship, recent incidents of social media clampdown, absence of a strong umbrella body for journalists as well as extortionist tendencies among reporters.

“Liberalization of the media didn’t necessarily translate into freedom of expression but rather it opened business space. Today, media houses are forced to contend with the interests of the advertisers and PR
firms since they need the money,” popular human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo said. He was part of the group of experts whose assessment of the media landscape informed the report findings.

Emphasis was also placed on the need to address the low emoluments on the part of journalists most especially freelancers who on average earn USD 30 monthly. Panelists said that this compromises professional ethics such as independence, truth and accuracy.


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