In response to the court ruling issued today that a senior Ugandan police officer, Guram Mwesiji, was found guilty of assaulting journalist Andrew Lwanga in January 2015, Abdallah Hallakhi, East Africa researcher at Amnesty International stated:
Today’s ruling is a rare victory for press freedom in Uganda. It sends a clear message that attacks on journalists cannot be tolerated or tolerated. I hope those who work in the media will rest assured that the courts are vigilant and ready to enforce their rights.
“Press freedom has been increasingly restricted in Uganda, with numerous attacks on media critical of the government in the past year. Today’s court ruling offers a glimmer of light in an otherwise dim view and shows that the judiciary is ready to defend freedom of expression.”
Lwanga was covering information about an anti-unemployment protest march in the capital, Kampala, on January 21, 2015, when a policeman hit him repeatedly with a baton on his shoulders and head until he fell. As he collapsed, the officer kicked him in the back and hit his spine.
The journalist has undergone an expensive spine surgery in South Africa and has yet to undergo another surgery.
Lwanga is still in excruciating pain two years after the attack and has not been able to return to work.