Online journalists body demand immediate release of Ronald Nahabwe from illegal police detention. Whisper Eye Updates
Uganda Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (indoja-U) has demanded for the immediate release of Nahabwe Ronald who was arrested by security operatives.
Indoja-U president Andrew Irumba Katusabe has told Whisper Eye News that they learnt about the illegal arrest, torture and detention of Mr. Ronald Nahabwe, a seasoned journalist and co-director with The Capital Times, an online media yesterday.
Ronald presented himself before the Director CIID AIGP Grace Akullo on Monday morning, after weeks of witch-hunt by plain clothed security operatives, reportedly on orders of the CIID director, according to Mr Irumba.
“The reasons for his arrest and detention are still unclear, but his lawyers report that he has been questioned about Rural Electrification Agency (REA) grand corruption stories and Roman Catholic Church Arch Bishop Kizito Lwanga’s private letter to the president, that leaked to the press before the president could even read it,’ says Mr Irumba.
In his letter, Arch Bishop Lwanga complained of being conned of billions of church money by some lawyers.
Prior to Ronald’s arrest on Monday, his colleague Hannington Mbabazi had also been brutally arrested three weeks ago from his home in Nateete at around 8pm, by plain clothed operatives, who later handed him over to three armed men, donned in UPDF army uniforms, who had been waiting outside his gate.
“They later whisked him away to Kyengera SAFE HOUSE, tortured him the whole night and later dropped him at CIID Kibuli in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the next day. While under their custody, they allegedly demanded him to reveal the source of the stories about REA that they run, which he declined, and that earned him further torture while in their car to Kyengera, explains Mr Irumba.”
‘As Journalists, we’re protected by the law not to reveal our sources unless, through a court order, which they don’t have so far. Other websites were ordered to pull down the stories, allegedly by UCC, and those who declined, have had their websites brought down, he said.”
indoja-U, an association that brings together online media in Uganda takes this as a serious attack on the independence and freedoms of expression, not only for the media fraternity, but the general public, because journalists shoulder a pivotal, social contract with the public to collect, filter and feed them with information, for the greater good.
Mr Irumba further explained that, an informed society is an empowered society.
‘On behalf of all the media fraternity in Uganda, on various platforms, we demand for immediate unconditional release of Ronald Nahabwe, who has been under illegal detention at SIU Kireka since Monday, by close of business today Thursday June 25, 2020, states Mr Irumba.”
They also appealed to all security agencies in Uganda to respect the Rights and Freedoms of journalists in Uganda.