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Police Holds Four Journalists for Covering Age Limit Demos

Jasper Ouni, one of the journalists who escaped arrest, says they were going about with their work when anti-riot police emerged with six pickup trucks and rounded them up.
Lira Police are holding four journalists accused of covering protests against the proposed removal of the presidential age limit. They are Isaac Otwi, a Daily Monitor Reporter, Robert Kalibongo of Unity FM, Denis Engena of NBS and Martin Ongom, a reporter of Dwon Luo, a local newspaper in Lira.

The four were picked up at around 5:30pm while covering protesters along Oyite Ojok lane. The protesters had lit fire along the road using old tyres and displayed placards denouncing the proposed scrapping of article 102 (b) from the constitution.

Jasper Ouni, one of the journalists who escaped arrest, says they were going about with their work when anti-riot police emerged with six pickup trucks and rounded them up. He says that officers bundled the journalists on the trucks and whisked them off to Lira Central Police station where they are being held.

According to Ouni, on seeing the officers, the protesters dispersed. Police reportedly accuses the journalists of coordinating with the protesters and declining to notify them about their plans. Police has declined to comment on the arrest of the journalists.

A police source told URN on condition of anonymity that security is not targeting journalists for covering the protesters. Police has since deployed plain clothed detectives to track down key journalists they suspect of coordinating with the protesters.

Earlier in the day, police picked up four civil society activists for staging the anti-age limit removal protest. Three of the activists are Ambrose Ocen Kibuku, Denis Owera and Tonny Atepo. Both the army and police have maintained heavy presence in Lira town to stop further protests. 

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