Zambian opposition supporters assault reporter from state media

Zambian authorities must thoroughly and quickly investigate the brutal attack by supporters of opposition party United Party for National Development (UPND) on Victor Mwila, a reporter with the state-owned Zambia News and Information Services, and ensure that those responsible are held to full account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On July 23, about 20 UPND supporters in the central business area of Ikelenge district, in northwest Zambia, kicked and hit Mwila using their fists and unknown objects, and grabbed his camera, his mobile phone, and 1,000 kwacha (US$52) in cash, according…Read more

Internet access cut, social media banned during Uganda elections

Ugandan authorities should immediately cease all efforts to disrupt internet access in the country and allow the press to cover the country’s elections freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said . Yesterday, the Uganda Communications Commission, the country’s broadcasting and telecommunication regulator, ordered telecommunications providers to suspend internet services in the country until further notice, according to a statement posted on Facebook by one of the providers, Africell, a separate statement by another company, MTN Uganda, which CPJ reviewed, and a copy of a letter from the commission to Simbanet, which was posted on social media…Read more

Police beat, detain journalists covering opposition candidates ahead of Uganda elections

Ugandan security forces should stop harassing and attacking journalists, and should ensure that the press can freely cover the country’s upcoming elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Since December 11, security officers have assaulted at least 10 journalists covering opposition events ahead of the country’s January 14 presidential election, and briefly detained at least two members of the press and questioned them about their work, according to media reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ. “The unabated violence and hostility against journalists ahead of Uganda’s general election is shocking. Reporting on the opposition…Read more

Journalists in Uganda face accreditation hurdles ahead of election, risk criminal sanction

Ugandan authorities should ensure that members of the press can freely cover the country’s national elections on January 14, the Committee to Protect Journalists have said. On December 10, the Media Council of Uganda, a statutory body, said that local and foreign journalists would be barred from covering electoral events if they failed to properly register with that body, and directed all foreign journalists in the country to renew their accreditations within a week, as CPJ documented at the time. On December 21, the council issued a statement giving a December 30 deadline for registration, and threatened…Read more