Arrested Journalists Freed Unconditionally

1011 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
John Peter Ematu, the North Kyoga Region Police Spokesperson has apologised for the arrest of the journalists.

Three journalists picked up on Tuesday evening in Lira town for covering protests have been released without charge. They are Issac Otwii, a Daily Monitor Reporter, Denis Engena of NBS Television and Robert Kalibongo of Unity FM.
 
 
The trio was released this morning from Lira Central Police Station following the intervention of Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Asan Kasingye. 



A group of journalists under Lango United Journalists Association petitioned Kasingye to intervene following the brutal arrest of the journalists from Oyite Ojok lane in Lira town where they were covering protests against the proposed lifting of the presidential age limit from the constitution.
 
 
Hudson Apunyu, the Secretary General Lango United Journalists Association, says the arrest of the journalists simply doing their work was uncalled for. He says the harassment of journalists must not be tolerated at all costs.


Charles Dickens Elem, the Chairperson Association of Radio Owners in Lango, says journalists are public investigators who should be allowed to operate freely without any interference and asks police to stay away from interfering with media work.

 
John Peter Ematu, the North Kyoga Region Police Spokesperson has apologised for the arrest of the journalists. He however, says the journalists were picked up for their own safety because some group he didn't disclose was after them,

 
Issac Otwii, who was among those picked up, says police accused them of coordinating with the protesters. He says police tasked tem to reveal those behind the protests.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.