The professor who also teaches media law was today delivering a key note address titled; Freedom of Expression and the Emerging Militarism”. This was at an event organized by the Uganda Editors’ Guild in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day at Kampala Serena Hotel.
Uganda Martyrs University Dean of law School, Prof.
Fredrick Jjuuko has tasked media practitioners not to handle acts of militarism
against journalism lightly.
Jjuuko warns that the recent efforts by media
managers intended at solving the continued brutalization of journalists by
security personnel through football matches and round-table talks are not
likely to be productive.
The professor who also teaches media law was today
delivering a key note address titled; Freedom of Expression and the Emerging
Militarism”. This was at an event organized by the Uganda Editors’ Guild in
commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
“Of course we have obvious aspects of militarism in
terms of beating, maiming of journalists, destruction and vandalizing of equipment.
But you have other forms, you have moles…there are moles in media houses. You
have intimidation through telephone calls over stories,” said Prof. Jjuuko.
He adds that another important part of militarism is
criminalization saying that a lot of media laws are criminalized and this is
the reason why journalists are arrested, interrogated and charged.
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Prof. Jjuuko says that a policy of appeasement should be
adopted by the media as a solution to solving the situation because it will not
According to Prof. Jjuuko, the media should not
refrain from legal actions to challenge what is being done, exposing intimidation
and collective action in order to assert your selves.
He cast doubt on recent engagements by the National
Association of Broadcasters- NAB with the army through a football match saying
that such moves are not likely to be very productive.
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The Professor says that security agencies are not
ignorant of human rights since they have human rights directorates. “All I should say about this engagement, you can
continue with it but in your fight against militarism…may be this engagement
should constitute 5 percent of media efforts and 95 percent should be elsewhere,”
He appealed the media to be self organized in order
to collectively fight militarism.
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Meanwhile, Jjuuko warned the media not to be sacked
in by militarism saying that media should not glamorize militarism by displaying
weapons, missiles, war ships, fighter jets and others. He says that such
stories and pictures make war attractive to especially the young and inexperienced
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In response, Brigadier Gen. Flavia Byekwaso, the UPDF
spokesperson said that journalists have not been restricted from doing their work
and that there was reason for those who were arrested especially during the campaign period. She acknowledged that the army is sometimes confrontational
but it should be commended where it does well.
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Byekwaso also said that the UPDF will not stop at
the recent match played with the media, but it is to ensure sensitization and
media training of the officers as well.
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The Chairman of the Editors' Guild, Daniel Kalinaki says that the media is not adversarial and it will continue to protect its rights robustly.