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UJU Condemns Killing of Ugandan Freelance Journalist

19 June 2013.

Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) condemns in the strongest terms possible the killing on Sunday of the New Vision newspaper freelance Journalist, Thomas Pere by unknown assailants.According to the New Vision management, it’s Editorial Writer, Thomas Pere was found dead in a pool of blood in Masajja, a few kilometers South West of Kampala on Entebbe road. The deceased had injuries all over his body but there were no signs of a struggle at the scene of crime. This led the police to make preliminary conclusion that the crime could have been committed elsewhere and the body dumped in the trench. The police recovered the journalist’s employment Identification card, ATM cards, Wallet and phones. The body is still lying at Mulago Referral hospital where a post-mortem is underway to ascertain cause of death.UJU President Lucy Anyango Ekadu condemned the killing and called on the police to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book. She said it’s quite scary that whenever a journalist is killed no serious investigations are carried out or a conclusive report released by Police in its efforts to apprehend the killers, a laxity that continues to put members of the Fourth Estate into jeopardy.

“ Journalists are continuously being killed in cold blood but no efforts are made to bring the culprits to book”, she said, The UJU President called on the police to investigate thoroughly all the killings on the journalists which are largely seen as an orchestrated move to suppress members of the media. The killing of Thomas Pere brings to four the number of Ugandan journalists killed under mysterious circumstances in the last five years and the Police have never apprehended the killers or even released any report on the deaths.

On September 10, 2010 freelance journalist Paul Kiggundu of top television, was beaten to death by a gang of rowdy motorcycle taxi drivers after he filmed them demolishing a house of another driver, whom they considered guilty of murder. Three days later, on 13 September, another Ugandan journalist, Dickson Ssentongo, was battered to death by metal bars by unknown assailants. Earlier in February 2008 Rebecca Wilbrod Kasujja, a presenter of a morning show on community radio Buwama FM in the southern district of Mpigi, had been raped before being strangled to death by unknown men while on her way to work. Killers of these journalists remain at large and Police has never investigated the matter to its logical conclusion or even released reports.

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