Posted on Jun 03, 2021
The editor of one of Uganda's biggest newspapers has been summoned for questioning by police after reporting findings from a BBC investigation into last year's police killings in Kampala.
Tabu Butagira is the editor the Daily Monitor which ran the story on its front page on May 31st of this year.
Tony Glencross, the managing director of Nation Media Group, which owns the newspaper, has also been summoned.
The two men are suspected of publishing false news, libel, and incitement.
Mr Butagira told the BBC the charges are "possibly politically motivated" and that the Daily Monitor's lawyers would dispute them.
Mr Glencross said the two men would comply with the summons, but that he was currently self-isolating after exposure to Covid-19 and would not be able to appear before police until next week.
The BBC Africa Eye documentary Three Killings in Kampala, released on May 31st, and which has had over 600,000 views, presented evidence that Ugandan security forces fired indiscriminately at passers-by during a crackdown in the capital Kampala last November, killing and injuring unarmed people including women and children.
The Daily Monitor was not involved in the investigation, but following the evidence shown in the BBC film, the newspaper reported that on November 18th about 14:00 local time, armed men in a police truck with the registration number UP5564 drove down Kampala Road firing live ammunition.
In the space of a minute or so, seven people were shot, at least four of them fatally.
The Ugandan government told the BBC that its security forces were responding to riots, and that the people who died on Kampala Road were killed by "stray bullets". There is no evidence that any of the seven people shot on Kampala Road were rioting.
NBS, one of the country's main television networks, usually broadcasts BBC Africa Eye's investigations, but it did not show Three Killings in Kampala. However, the documentary went viral on YouTube and WhatsApp in Uganda, prompting calls from Ugandans for accountability.
"The damning evidence [the] government needed to prosecute officers who killed Ugandans in November is here," tweeted Raymond Mujuni, a Ugandan journalist and news anchor. "Let justice prevail."
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