By our reporter

The UPDF has ordered for the arrest of soldiers who beat up journalists during the Monday #FreeBobiWine protests in downtown, Kampala.

“The chief of defence forces (CDF) has ordered for their arrest and punishment,” said a statement from the UPDF signed by army spokesman Brig Richard Karemire.

UPDF spokesman Brig Richard Karemire

Journalists including James Akena of Reuters and NTV reporters among others were targeted for beating during the operation to contain the protests which swept through several parts of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono.

Journalists holding their work, carrying gadgets and going about their duties were seen being attacked by soldiers, beaten, and left with injuries on Monday.

James Akena pleading with a UPDF officer to spare him the beatings. It is clear his camera was in the air for all to see he was not a protester but journalist. Anyway, why even beat protesters, is a fundamental question.

Among other injuries, Akena was left with a swollen head, hands, etc

The UPDF statement is a means to reassure the public and media fraternity that the military was not out at war with the media or freedom of information, especially after arresting and detaining media personality in Arua, on the day MPs allied to Kassino Wadri and People Power movements, were arrested.

Below is the full statement:

21 August 2018

Attention has been brought to the leadership of the UPDF about the unprofessional conduct of soldiers who molested some journalists while deployed on a joint operation in the capital city on Monday 20th august 2018.

UPDF wishes to express its displeasure over such behavior by those individuals and as a result the chief of defence forces (CDF) has ordered for their arrest and punishment.

While expressing apologies and sympathies to the individuals on whom pain was inflicted, we wish to reiterate our strong commitment to maintain a strong partnership with the media fraternity in the course of executing all our core functions as laid out in the constitution.

Eid Mubarak.

Brig Richard Kamemire

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