Security Agents Beat Up Journalists

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Several journalists were beaten and their equipment either taken away or damaged by security operatives as they covered the return of FDC leader Kizza Besigye yesterday.

People masquerading as TV cameramen filmed and photographed journalists from different media houses who were covering the arrival of Dr Besigye on Entebbe Road, and enthusiastic supporters of the opposition leader as his entourage passed through Najjanankumbi and Katwe suburbs.

It is some of these people who later turned on the journalists, attacking and assaulting them with the assistance of soldiers and policemen.
Daily Monitor photographer Stephen Otage was filmed and photographed by strange people, some of whom wore jackets with inscriptions “TV press.”

“As I photographed armed men breaking up Besigye’s convoy at Najjanankumbi stage, I was confronted by a plain-clothed soldier who grabbed my camera from the neck, as stick-wielding soldiers joined in asking me to identify myself. Before I could pull out my identification card, the same officer pulled out my mobile phone from my pocket and when I handed over my identity card, another one told me to leave my details with them,” he said.

“But as I went to the military vehicle where my property was dumped, I was ordered to disappear. They descended on other journalists and beat them and confiscated their equipment.”

Daily Monitor reporter Mercy Nalugo was hit with a baton on the right hand shoulder at Kibuye roundabout while an unknown number of foreign journalists were also beaten and their equipment either snatched or damaged.

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