Human Rights Network for journalists (HRNJ) a body responsible for ensuring the protection of journalists’ rights on duty has lashed at police’s actions where some of its officers reportedly stoned five journalists who were covering a fire break out at Katwe Police station staff quarters.
The journalists who were stoned are Nassaka Joweria (Kingdom TV), Ivan Mbadhi (BBS TV), Rachel Mabala (Daily Monitor) Carol Nakibule (Delta TV) and Muhumuza Julius of Dream TV.
The fire which started at about 9:30am burnt six units and was as a result of one electric coil that was being used for cooking in one of the houses.
According to HRNJ, Joweria Nassaka told them that they arrived at the station but were denied entrance into the station by police officers at the main entrance.
This prompted them to go behind the police station where they climbed on top of a nearby house to get a good view.
“We were on the roof covering, and then one of the officers who was not dressed in a uniform commanded other officers who were also in plain cloths to throw stones at us. One stone hit me on the fore head and it is swollen,” Joweria told HRNJ-Uganda.
Joweria who had just received treatment from Doctor’s Clinic in Mengo said that she was still in severe pain.
“When the police officers started throwing stones at us, I jumped from the roof and fell down, my leg got injured in the process… the Kingdom TV journalist was hit on the head and it is swollen,” Ivan Mbadhi, told HRNJ-Uganda.
Emilian Kayima, the spokesperson Kampala Metropolitan Police denied knowledge of the incident.
“We highly condemn the actions by the police officers whose core mandate is to keep law and order and ensure that Ugandans are protected. Police officers are expected to be exemplary. Such actions would not differentiate trained police officers from criminals.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator Robert Ssempala