Africa Journalists demand action on security brutality, attacks on media must stop – TAJIIA

“The increasing brutality and arbitrary clampdown on independent journalism and civic space in the run-up to the general elections is a cause of serious concern,” said Nasser.

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Kasozi Nasser Akandwanaho,Team Leader,African Journalism Institute for International Affairs [TAJIIA] in studios of Voice of Africa Radio discussing continued brutality against journalists by security agencies. THE HOMELAND MEDIA GROUP/PHOTO

The team of leaders from the African Journalism Institute for International Affairs (TAJIIA) has condemned with strong-arm the actions of security agencies on attacking journalists while on duty to stop it with immediate effect, such brutal attacks targeting journalists is for stone age and has no space in the modern civilization.

Nasser Kasozi team leader of the African African Journalism Institute for international Affairs {TAJIIA} told the Homeland Newspaper in Kampala that attacks by security operatives on journalists hinder the independence of media and civic space and the right have freedom of expression without any interference by state actors.

“Allow Journalists and civil society players to have freedom of expressing themselves the continued harassment and brutality of journalists must stop with immediate effect as the country draws nearer to the 2021 general election”. Nasser said.

Nasser Kasozi’s remarks came shortly after series of attacks on journalists covering the 2021presidential elections in the names of Ashraf Kasirye from Ghetto TV, NTV’s Ali Mivule, and Daniel Lutaaya of NBS TV were injured on Sunday as police attempted to disperse supporters of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

Kasozi said that, over the last seven weeks, at least 15 journalists have been faced with attacked by security agents and many have walked away with severe injuries, while others have faced arbitrary arrests as they covered 2021 election and any political related activities  and events.

“The increasing brutality and arbitrary clampdown on independent journalism and civic space in the run-up to the general elections is a cause of serious concern,” said Nasser.

He said that a week ago, security agencies arrested a prominent human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, the executive director of Chapter Four Uganda a local Human rights NGO for allegedly laundering money he was arrested together with three other lawyers.

The three lawyers have since been released on bail but Nicholas Opiyo remains in custody until the 11th day of January 2021, when he will be produced in court to hear his bail application.

Kasozi Nasser said that, Nicholas Opiyo has consistently spoken out against human rights violations by government agencies, and offered legal service and representation to human rights defenders including journalists and the media workers in Uganda.

It should be remembered that, On 29 October 2020, the Uganda National NGO Bureau suspended the operations of the National Election Watch Uganda, a loose coalition of more than 60 NGOs that had come together to monitor the 2021 elections..

Kasozi says that interfering with the works and activities of civil society organization and the media is a human rights violation and also a direct infringement of media and press freedom and the civic space which automatically kills democracy and doubt to have a peaceful, fair election and the general stability of the country.

Kasozi also demanded that the government upholds and respects the roles and rights of all citizens and stakeholders in this election giving due respect and attention to the journalists and media workers because they are partners not enemies of the state.

He adds that the safety of journalists is particularly critical because without free media, citizens won’t access the accurate information they need to make informed decisions and participate in their governance.

“The perpetrators of these attacks on journalists must be brought to book”. Nasser said.

Who is Kasozi Nasser Akandwanaho

Kasozi Nasser Akandwanaho is a Ugandan Journalist & Entrepreneur, He serves as Editorial Director of the Homeland Media Group the holding company of the Homeland Newspaper, Sseggwanga, the African News Journal news media platforms.

He is the Founder & Team Leader of the African Journalism Institute for International Affairs [TAJIIA] a media development and training NGO for the empowerment of journalists and advocating for press freedom in Africa its mission is “Working for a professional & empowered media in Africa”.

Kasozi Nasser previously worked with Uganda Broadcasting corporation UBC Star Fm Radio as a reporter, presenter, and assistant news editor before quitting in 2013.

He is the founder of Kasozi Enterprise Fund a micro-enterprise development organization that offers microfinance related services and products to transform the lives of vulnerable poor in Uganda.

He is the Chairman of the Kamida Group Holdings Ltd a property development, marketing & investment Group operating in Uganda.

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