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Journalists condemn government intimidation

The arrest of the editor of the independent ‘Crusader’ newspaper, George Lugalambi, on 17 December has been described as “shocking” by a senior Ugandan journalist. “It looks like the government is deliberately pressurising journalists in the run-up to the referendum,” the journalist told IRIN today. “It comes at a time when people expected the government to give an explanation to the current [corruption] scandals it’s facing.” Lugalambi was charged with promoting sectarianism - a crime which carries a maximum of five-years’ imprisonment - over an article he wrote on the alleged arming of the Bahima, a subgroup of the Banyankole, to which President Yoweri Museveni belongs. He was released on police bail on 18 December. The hearing is set for 15 January.

Meanwhile, James Mujini the Mbarara bureau chief of the semi-official ‘New Vision’ was released on Sunday after 24 hours in detention. He was questioned over reports on gun proliferation in Ankole. On his release, Mujini said he had been asked by the police to be a state witness against Lugalambi but refused, the newspaper reported.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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