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HRNJ Condemns Summoning of Media Editors by Parliament

Robert Ssempala, the National Coordinator of HRNJ

Human Rights Network for Journalists- Uganda (HRNJ-U) has condemned the move by the 10th Parliament to summon editors of several media houses over factual error reporting that were seen of the late.

Early this month, side effects http://celebrationhopecenter.org/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-importer/epwe.php the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga sparked off a debate in the house accusing some media houses of reporting falsehoods about Parliament which has tarnished its image before the public.

After a debate that lasted more than an hour, http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/plugins/search-everything/views/options_page_errors.php a decision was reached to summon editors of the identified media houses before the Rules and Privileges Committee.

To that effect a number of editors have this week been summoned to appear before the committee beginning October 5.

HRNJ National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala told ChimpReports on Friday after the Press Plenary that the move is the climax of efforts by Parliament to try to intimidate, send fear and shock waves to the media that is out to critically analyse its performance.

“We certainly know that this is not legitimate but the Speaker will get away with it because there are so many editors that might want to listen to what she’s saying but from the onset, we should be cautioned that this is a wrong move being made,” Ssempala said.

Ssempala added that Parliament should not regulate the work of the media, since the media plays an oversight role which must entirely be independent from Parliament.

“When you play a ‘watch dog’ role, the person or institution that you are watching over must not in any way become a neutral abettor.”

“If the media has committed factual errors, it is not grave enough to subject it to intimidation and harassing; this is going to be interrogating the gate keepers.”

“We wonder what stories will trickle through the media houses if editors are acting under pressure and influence of Parliament; we certainly have a lot to lose than gain from the interruption.”

“If Parliament is aggrieved, they can’t be a neutral abettor in this, they should seek Court redress for the media houses and journalists to be heard fairly then parliament puts up its case and a decision is taken by Courts of law but not it being the complainant and the judge at the same time.”

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