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Government urged to show restraint after shooting of journalist

Government urged to show restraint after shooting of journalist

Published on Friday 18 February 2011.
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Reporters Without Borders said it was “shocked” at the shooting by a ministerial bodyguard today of freelance journalist Julius Odeke and called for the guard to be punished and for journalists be allowed to work freely during today’s general election.

Odeke, who works for the magazine Red Pepper and the newspaper Razer, was shot in the knee at close range by a bodyguard of minister of the presidency Beatrice Wabudeya.

“Such a mindless attack on a journalist is deplorable, especially by someone working for the government,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard. “The minister must take full responsibility. The government’s job is to ensure the safety of all citizens and maintain law and order. This means journalists must be free to work without their life being endangered by hasty or irrational behaviour,” he said.

Odeke was reporting on the election in eastern Uganda and was photographing Wabudeya and polling stations shortly after an argument between supporters of the minister and those of her rival in the Bidadiri constituency, Nandaala Mafabi.

Two Ugandan journalists were murdered last year and a gay rights activist in January this year.

Photo : AFP

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