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Journalists Tipped on Security, Safety

HRNJ National Coordinator ,Robert Ssempala

A group of 40 journalists have been equipped with skills in security and safety while carrying out their jobs.

The 2 day training workshop was organised by Human Rights Network for Journalists at Garden Courts hotel in Masaka.

According to HRNJ national coordinator, this site Robert Ssempala, store the ever changing environment necessitated training in security and safety.

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“The various brutal attacks on journalists by different entities including police awakened us to equip our members with knowledge about their safety and security, troche ” Ssempala said.

In the recent report by HRNJ, police was ranked top among the violators of rights for journalists.

On May 3, police was on the spot again for brutally arresting a group of journalists marching to commemorate world press freedom day.

Ssempala pointed out that journalists working for print media and televisions are target to break-ins and physical aggression due to the investigative pieces they author.

“The security and safety interventions would therefore come in handy to assist journalists in their line of duty,” the HRNJ national coordinator told this website.

He explained that on many occasions, these attacks and break-ins are intended to steal and hide evidence in form of investigative pieces, revenge and also instil fear among journalists.

On April 1, the country woke up to another break-in at the Observer newspaper offices in Kamwokya, the second in a space of 6 months.

In what looked at as a planned revenge mission; as all the Observer computers were taken by unknown assailants.

Police has however never released a report in reference to the 2 break-ins.

Ssempala however urged journalists to always remain professional in the way they do their work because the public has hope in them.

“You should uphold every effort intended at building your profession.”

The retired journalist added,”We should earn trust from the public we are serving. You should always be informed rather than being journalists by name.”

The 2 day training drew participants from Kampala, Mukono, Luweero, Entebbe, Masaka and Kalangala among other central districts of the country.

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