HRW: Students, journalists attacked by Uganda security forces

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) says students and journalists are being attacked by security forces in Uganda ina succession of human rights violations.

According to the rights group, the Ugandan police and military have cracked down on student protests over increased fees at Kampala’s Makerere University on multiple occasions since last month. While police have also arrested journalists and prevented them accessing the university to report on the incidents.

Crackdown on student protests

Reports from Human Rights Watch (HRW) say security forces have clamped down on protests at Makerere University multiple times since October 22. HRW says teargas was fired into student residences, dormitories were raided and students were beaten. Many were also arrested and dozens were detained for days without charge.

The rights group also says journalists were arrested for attempting to enter the university and cover the events taking place inside.

Authorities claim opposition politicians have paid students to protest while accusing the media of spreading fake news regarding the crackdown on student protests, which findings from HRW contest.

“Uganda’s armed forces are apparently using disproportionate violence against student protests and journalists trying to cover them,” said Oryem Nyeko, Uganda researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The government should immediately end abusive crackdowns and hold those responsible for any abuses to account in a fair and transparent manner.”

Human Rights Watch has urged the government to investigate the protest crackdowns and prevent security forces from impeding upon students’ basic human right to protest.

“The Ugandan government should urgently carry out fair and transparent investigations and hold accountable security forces who have used excessive force against protesters and otherwise abused their authority,” HRW said in a statement.

Featured image: HRW

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.