The Ugandan military (UPDF) has apologised beating and arresting journalists who were covering a protest in the capital, Kampala, on Monday.
Issuing the statement, the army termed the act as unprofessional conduct of soldiers, which was seen in a video widely shared on social media where Reuters photographer James Akena is seen cowering as soldiers beat him, among other incidences which were not reported.
The beating carried on even after Mr Akena put his hands up and fell to his knees.
According to AFP news agency, he was detained for several hours after being beaten.
“UPDF wishes to express its displeasure over such behaviour by those individuals, and as a result, the chief of Defence Forces (CDF) has ordered for their arrest and punishment,” stated Defence Spokesperson Richard Karemire.
Through a statement from the military, they said that soldiers who had molested journalists would be arrested and punished.
Protests rocked Kampala city on Monday, with protesters demanding for release of Kyadondo MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine who was arrested last week and charged with treason in a military court.
Earlier Human Rights Watch called on the Ugandan police and military to stop attacks on the media and respect the rights of all protesters.
On Monday one person was killed and more than 100 were arrested during protests over the detention of several opposition MPs and activists.
Last week two journalists were arrested as they reported live from where a driver of the detained MP and musician Robert Kyagulanyi — known as Bobi Wine — was killed.
Human Rights Watch wants an independent investigation into the shooting of Yasin Kawuma.
It says the beating and arresting of journalists is evidence the Ugandan authorities want to cover up the conduct of the security forces.
Here’s the full statement on the apology from Karemire:-
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