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Journalist Kyarisiima Brutally beaten By Illegal Militias While Investigating Land Dispute: UJA Demands Justice

By Hannah Marion Namukasa

In a shocking turn of events, journalist Juliet Kyarisiima of TV West, affiliated with the Vision Group, fell victim to a vicious assault orchestrated by a group of illegal militias.

The incident occurred on Sunday, May 12, 2024, as Kyarisiima diligently pursued a story regarding a land dispute between businessman Frank Kamugisha and the Catholic church community in Buhweju.

Kyarisiima’s investigation took her to the heart of the conflict, where tensions ran high. It was at the Rwamanyare Church premises, following a Sunday service, that the attack unfolded. Armed with pangas, Kamugisha’s henchmen descended upon Kyarisiima, along with other churchgoers and even Member of Parliament Francis Mwijukye, who had been invited to mediate the dispute.

The assailants showed no mercy, inflicting serious injuries on Kyarisiima and MP Mwijukye, while also vandalizing Kyarisiima’s essential equipment—her camera, voice recorder, and laptop. In the chaos that ensued, the victims were rushed to a medical facility in Mbarara city for urgent treatment, with Kyarisiima subsequently filing a complaint with the authorities.

The Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) has condemned this brazen attack, labeling it a flagrant violation of press freedom. Ronald Kabuye, the association’s spokesperson, emphasized that such violence, orchestrated by hired militias, cannot be tolerated under Ugandan law.

UJA demands swift action from law enforcement to apprehend all those involved, including Kamugisha, and ensure that justice is served for Kyarisiima and the other victims.

Furthermore, the UJA has mobilized its legal team to monitor the case closely, determined to uphold the principles of press freedom and protect journalists from such heinous acts of aggression. In a rallying cry for justice, Kabuye reaffirmed the association’s commitment to the belief that “The Pen is Mightier Than the Gun,” urging for accountability and protection for journalists risking their lives in pursuit of the truth.

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