February 15, 2018

Uganda : Reporter abducted in broad daylight in Kampala

Charles Etukuri (source : New Vision)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Ugandan authorities to investigate newspaper reporter Charles Etukuri’s abduction in order to identify those responsible and find Etukuri as quickly as possible. He was kidnapped on 13 February, five days after writing an article implicating Uganda’s counter-intelligence agency in the death of a visiting Finnish businessman.

An investigative reporter for New Vision, a pro-government daily owned by the Vision Group, Etukuri was abducted outside Vision Group headquarters in Kampala by five unidentified armed men, according to several Ugandan media outlets.

His abduction came five days after he reported in a story published in the newspaper that Tuomas Teräsvuori, a Finnish businessmen who sold security systems, had been arrested by members of Uganda’s Internal Security Organization (ISO) on 5 February, the day before he was found dead in a Kampala hotel.

We are extremely concerned about the fate of Charles Etukuri,” RSF said. “Journalists must be free to do investigative reporting without fear of being targeted. We urge the authorities to launch a full investigation at once in order to shed all possible light on this matter, to find Etukuri and to punish those responsible.

According to local newspaper reports, five armed men in military uniforms waited outside Vision Group headquarters and, when Etukuri came out, they forced to get into their vehicle and drove away.

Describing Etukuri in an interview as their best crime reporter, Vision Group editor-in-chief Barbara Kaija said she suspected that his abductors were members of the security services and that his abduction was linked to his recent reporting.

The national police have said they know nothing about his abduction or arrest.

Uganda is ranked 112th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.