The African Liberal Network (ALN) urges the international community to join us in strongly condemning Monday’s alleged raid by Ugandan government security forces on the Daily Monitor newspaper and its two radio stations. During the raid the security forces shut down the publication’s operations using a search warrant that the publication was not given the opportunity to contest.
This action constitutes a direct threat to media freedom in Uganda, a country in which the African Media Barometer stated that: “State surveillance structures… continue to create a climate of fear among journalists as well as potential information sources, resulting in increasing cases of self-censorship. A disturbing trend of self-censorship through reportage of social rather than political issues leading to the downplaying of important issues is emerging.”
By using intimidation to restrict journalists’ abilities to report freely on matters, the Ugandan government stands in direct contravention of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to which the country is a signatory.
The rights to freedom of information and expression, as well as an independent and diverse media, are enshrined in the Charter, and are central to the realisation of real democracy in any country. Without these rights democracy in Uganda is hollow.
The intimidation of journalists in Uganda cannot be allowed to continue. In line with the Liberal Manifesto for Africa drafted and adopted by the ALN, we will, along with our Ugandan member party, Liberal Democratic Transparency (LDT), continue to monitor the situation and champion the right to a free media in Uganda.
Olivier Kamitatu Etsu
Africa Liberal Network President
+24 381 268 1774
Africa Liberal Network Coordinator
+27 72 232 0127