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Radio talk show journalist arrested

By Julius Odeke

Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) has condemned the arrest of a radio Political Talk show host; James Kasirivu of the popular “World Express” program on Mbarara based Endigito Radio station on May 8.

The Journalist was picked up by plain clothed security operatives, first detained at Mbarara Police station in Western Uganda before being transferred to Kampala’s Kireka Special Investigations Unit (SIU).

The General Secretary for UJU, Mr Stephen Ouma Bwire told our reporter that, “No clear reasons have been given for his arrest but sources confirmed the journalist is being detained incommunicado without any charges being preferred against him.”

He added that the journalist’s relatives and friends who tried to see him were turned away.

The arrest is a climax of orchestrated efforts and threats by local security operatives to clamp down on the journalist whom they accuse of giving platform to opposition groups or people with divergent views to criticize government.

His show was previously shut down after receiving numerous warnings from the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC).

Uganda Journalists Union President Ms Lucy Anyango Ekadu condemned the detention of the journalist without any charges being preferred against him in courts of law.

Ms Lucy Anyango said this is a deliberate move to intimidate journalists, suppress freedom of expression, and stifle voices of dissent while muzzling Press Freedom in the country.

She said the Police should produce the Journalist in court because “Justice delayed is Justice denied.”

The arrest of the Journalist comes seven days after Journalists globally marked the International World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2013.

According to statistics available Uganda’s Press Freedom record has deteriorated over the last few years and the country is about to drop off the Washington – based Freedom House’s index of countries that are partly free as far as Media Freedom is concerned.

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