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ACME Calls For Dialogue Between State Agents And Journalists To End Impunity

ACME Calls for Dialogue Between State Agents and Journalists to End Impunity

By, Idd Basaijja

The African Centre for Media Excellence-ACME, has urged the authorities to take “daring measures” to end impunity for crimes against journalists.

The organization is also asking journalists and state agencies to maintain dialogue in ensuring there is protection of media freedom.

In his address to mark 2 November, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Kasese, Apolo Kakaire, the Programme, Communications and Advocacy manager at ACME says violation of rights against journalist robs them of their independence and they often go into censorship and subsequently this affects the quality of information received by audience.

More than 350 journalists have been killed since the UN General Assembly established the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in December 2014, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Kakaire says as an organisation they are calling for the authorities to provide law enforcement with all necessary means to bring justice for crimes against journalists.

He demands state agencies to have close relationships with journalists to ensure there is timely and accurate reporting.

Kakaire said ACME is committed to the fight against the specific threats facing journalists but also empower them to have knowledge of the law and what they report about.

Jolly Mbambu a journalist at Messiah Radio in Kasese, says reliable information that journalists provide is a lifeblood of a resilient democracy, where a robust system of checks and balances thrives.

She faults security agencies especially police f failing to attend to journalists concerns whenever they are presented for redress.

Kikama Ram another journalist working with UBC-Ngeya is asking for state agents to work closely with local journalists as a means of ensuring that they have accurate information.

He noted that often security agents accuse local journalist of misinformation and yet they ae often denied opportunities to get facts.

Saimon Bikeke, the coordinator Umbrella for Journalist in Kasese-UJK said its important imperative to confront impunity for crimes committed against journalists to uphold the principles of free expression and support resilient society.

He noted that that although the exercise of journalism is constitutionally recognized as a fundamental right, attacks against media professionals are continuing and, in most cases, they go unpunished.

The Deputy RDC incharge of Bukhonzo,  Lt. Matte Magwara while he agreed that its important for state agents to work with journalists, he also want them to perform their duties responsibility.

He noted that most confrontations are born from journalists who fail to respect the orders of the on-duty officers.

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