Condemnations against brutal murders of journalists …
Dickson Ssentongo … recently murdered Ugandan journalist
15 September 2010
IFJ Condemns Brutal Murder of another Journalist in Uganda
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today vehemently condemned the brutal murder of Prime Radio anchorman, Dickson Ssentongo, who was severely beaten by unknown assailants and abandoned to die in a cassava plantation in Mukono District some 35 km from the capital Kampala on Monday, 13 September, 2010.
“We are appalled by this vicious killing coming days only after we lost another Ugandan colleague to violence,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. “The killing of Dickson Ssentongo signals a serious deterioration of the security of journalists and the Ugandan Government must reassure journalists and the public in general that the perpetrators of this heinous crime will be apprehended and brought to justice very quickly”.
According to information received from the Ugandan Journalists Union (UJU), an IFJ affiliate, Dickson Ssentongo was ambushed while on his way to work at Prime Radio, where he read the 7am news bulletin in Luganda. He was severely beaten and left in a pool of blood. He later died at the Mulago Hospital where he had been rushed for treatment. “Ssentongo was specifically targeted for murder, as all his personal possessions including mobile phones were untouched by the assailants,” said the UJU in a statement.
The IFJ calls on the Ugandan Government to leave no stone unturned in investigating this matter and ensuring that the culprits are brought to justice.
“Unpunished crimes breed impunity and impunity signifies a disregard for good governance and the rule of law,” added Baglo.
The IFJ also called on civil society organisations in Ugandan to mobilise and denounce violence against journalists by enemies of democracy and a progressive society.
For more information contact the IFJ at +221 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide
Source: Pambazuka News: http://www.pambazuka.org/en
UNESCO chief calls for urgent action after another Ugandan journalist is killed
16 September 2010 – The head of the United Nations agency entrusted with defending press freedom today urged Ugandan authorities to launch a full investigation into this week’s murder of a radio news presenter, the second journalist to be killed in the African nation in three days.
“I condemn the brutal murder of Dickson Ssentongo,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a statement issued today.
“The tragic killings of Mr. Ssentongo and freelance journalist Paul Kiggundu three days earlier sound the alarm for freedom of expression in Uganda, and I urge the Ugandan authorities to leave no stone unturned in the efforts to find those responsible for these crimes.”
A news presenter at Radio Prime for two years, Mr. Ssentongo, 29, was politically active and regularly discussed the activities of various political parties on air. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), he was beaten on Monday by unidentified assailants wielding metal bars while on his way to work in Mukono district in central Uganda, and died in hospital several hours later.
Last Friday, Mr. Kiggundu was killed by an angry crowd during a demonstration he was covering in the southern town of Rakai.
Freedom of speech shall prevail no matter what happens to individual journalists. The ball will keep rolling … because it is already in motion and no one can stop it even the barrel of the gun.