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NTV journalist beaten up by Uganda Army

Yet another Ugandan journalist has reportedly been tortured at the hands of security operatives.

The Daily Monitor reports that Enoch Matovu, who is NTV’s correspondent in Mityana District, Kampala,was on Thursday night battered by security operatives who attacked him on his way home.

Matovu says he was on his way home with his 10-year-old daughter during curfew hours when soldiers moving in a double cabin vehicle called him by name, and then pounced on him.

The operatives, he says, covered his daughters’ eyes and then beat him to the extent that his limbs were sprained, in what appears to be a coordinated and targeted attack on him as a journalist.

Matovu says he had taken his daughter to the hospital and clearly identified himself as a journalist but they still pounced on him.

“A double cabin vehicle full of UPDF (Uganda military) officers blocked my way, they asked me where I was coming from and where I was going. I tried explaining to them, but before I completed, one slapped me heavily before his colleagues pounced on me beating me like a chicken thief,” he narrated the ordeal.

Matovu said the officers told him that journalists in Mityana do spy for terrorists who oppose the government, reporting news that demeans the country’s repetition.

“They wanted me to take them to the home of the Daily Monitor journalist but I kept on denying that I don’t know where she stays, and went ahead kicking me in the stomach,” he said.

They also warned him that he was lucky he had moved with his daughter.

Immaculate Matovu, the victim’s wife said while at home at around 10PM, she heard her daughter crying out for help and she was shocked seeing her husband unable to sit and talk.

“We called his bosses and Mityana Resident District Commissioner, Harman Ssentongo, who sent his deputy Yasin Ndidde who picked my husband and rushed him to the hospital,” she said.

Ssentongo while at the hospital apologized to all journalists in Mityana and promised to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.

Robert Ssempala of Human Rights Network for Journalists said justice should be served to Matovu and all journalists battered by security operatives.

“It is so alarming to hear that UPDF officers battered journalists even a few days after the reunion we had. This is not what we agreed upon,” he said, demanding the Chief of Defence Forces to intervene and punish the culprits.

At least three journalists in Mityana District have been battered by security personnel within a year.

Earlier this year, a group of military police also battered journalists in Kampala in the full glare of cameras. The journalists were covering a protest organised by presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine.