African editors condemn attacks on journalists

The African editors forum (TAEF) has condemned the targeted attacks on journalists in Uganda that followed last week’s arrest of opposition politicians in Arua Municipality.

In a statement issued by the forum’s chairperson Jovial Rantao, the editors asked President Yoweri Museveni and the Ugandan government to respect the internationally recognised media freedoms and freedoms of expression.

Here below is TAEF’s statement in full.

The African Editors Forum (TAEF), the biggest organization representing editors across Africa, deplores, in the strongest possible terms, the terror campaign unleashed on the media by law enforcement agencies in Uganda.

In the past two weeks, Ugandan journalists have been attacked, brutalized, threatened by the security agencies in their country.

TAEF today stands in solidarity with journalists and editors in Uganda. We fully support the stand taken by the Kenyan Editors Guild, the East African media fraternity as well as the media around the world who see the terror campaign as an affront to media freedom, freedom of and independence of the media.

We also strongly support the eight Ugandan journalists who were left with physical and psychological injuries and their equipment destroyed – just for doing their work.

TAEF stand in solidarity with:

Herbert Zziwa (NTV)
Ronald Muwanga (NTV)
Julius Bakabaage (NBS)
Ronald Galiwango (NTV)
Juma Kiiya (NTV)
James Akena (Reuters)
Kyambadde Samuel (Metro FM)
Richard (Ghetto TV)

We agree with the Kenyan Editors Guild that an attack on journalists is not only an attack on media freedom but also an attack on democracy, societal and universal values relating to the respect for human rights and dignity.

TAEF call on the Ugandan government, led by President Yoweri Museveni, to reign in the security agencies and stop the reign of terror.

We call on President Museveni to commit himself and the government that he leads, to freedom of expression and of the press and media in general.

TAEF reminds President Museveni of, among others, the Table Mountain Declaration, the 1991 Windhoek Declaration, in its 25th anniversary year, and the 2002 Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa.

We urge Uganda to renew its commitment to these principles and to act now to stop the attacks on the media and remove from its statuette books, laws that are inimical to media freedom.