Attacks on the media

Acts of intimidation and violence against reporters are an almost daily occurrence in Uganda. The security services, which are the leading press freedom violators, often target journalists, arresting them arbitrarily and sometimes holding them incommunicado. Any criticism of the authorities can result in journalists being beaten, abducted or deprived of their equipment with impunity. Uganda’s president for 33 years, Yoweri Museveni, tolerates no criticism and often uses hate speech in his references to the media, as in a 2018 press conference when he called journalists “parasites.” Charges of treason under the criminal code, which carry a heavy sentence, are often used to gag the media. It is not uncommon for the authorities to intervene directly to block the broadcasting of TV reports. The persecution was reinforced in June 2017 by the creation of a special team of state security officers and IT experts to scan posts on Facebook and other social networks for criticism of the government. During elections, the Internet is often disconnected or access to social networks is blocked. The media are threatened with closure when they cover opposition activities. A daily tax on use of social networks, the first of its kind in Africa, was introduced in 2018, further undermining journalists and media outlets.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



117 in 2018

Global score


36.77 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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