Uganda Police Force has topped the list of media violations, according to the 2016 Press Freedom Index released on Tuesday morning at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. The report titled “Tough Times, Political Intolerance Stifles Media”, shows that Police committed 83 of the 135 media violations recorded in 2016.
It highlights the unjust use of laws to curtail media freedom, violence against journalists and Media. This is the fourth consecutive year Uganda Police force is ranking top for attacking journalists. Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF and Uganda Prison Services to a lesser existent are also cited among the violators of media freedoms.
Individuals account for 17% of the media violations reported in the year under review. However, the 2016 Press Freedom Index shows a slight reduction in the media freedom violations compared to the 2015 index where 140 cases were reported. The Press Freedom Index details how Uganda Police, other state actors and powerful individuals manipulate the law to curtail media freedoms.
The report lists violations as physical attacks, harassment, torture, injuries and looking up journalists in gazette areas among others. Other forms include threats, political pressure, unfair dismissal and arbitrary suspension from work. The report that comes a day to the Press freedom Day, chronicles the environment in which the Ugandan media operate.