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Uganda media intimidated ahead of polls

Uganda media intimidated ahead of polls

Uganda

Uganda’s journalists are under intimidation by the government and ruling party officials in a bid to stifle criticism ahead of tightly contested general elections scheduled for February.

According to a report released by US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) “Journalists have been suspended under government pressure, and radio stations threatened for hosting opposition members as guests or when panelists expressed views critical of the ruling party”.

The report adds that, the intimidation was having a “chilling effect” on the media.

How can Uganda hold fair elections if the media and independent groups can't criticise the ruling party or government leaders without fear?

“How can Uganda hold fair elections if the media and independent groups can’t criticise the ruling party or government leaders without fear?” HRW researcher Maria Burnett quizzed.

Long serving President Yoweri Museveni will be facing his strongest challenge yet to his rule in next month’s elections.

His main contenders include his former ally and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and three-time loser Kizza Besigye. They will be joined by five other candidates in the polls.

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