The Uganda Police Force has suspended CPL Ogwal Yeeko for attacking (pepper-spraying) journalists as they covered the arrest of pre-medical interns who attempted to march to Parliament over delayed commencement of medical internship.
According to a statement issued by police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, Ogwal has been suspended and handed over to the Professional Standards Unit as investigations continue. Additionally, the Force has summoned three police leaders (officers in charge) as investigations into the attacks continue.
“The officer who acted unprofessionally has been identified as CPL Ogwal Yeeko. Although the officer issued an apology to the journalists, he has still been suspended and handed over to the Professional Standards Unit, for investigations,” Enanga said in a statement.
“We have also sent out a new administrative circular to all territorial commanders to regularly review their enforcement operations, in line with what the public rightly expects from them,” Enanga added.
Enanga further condemned the manner in which two journalists from Next Media (Isano Francis and Thomas Kitimbo) were attacked and pepper sprayed on Tuesday while on duty.
Several journalists have come out to condemn the brutal actions of some police officers where some of their colleagues were assaulted in the line of duty.
The National Executive Director of Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), Robert Ssempala, said they plan to engage media house owners and other stakeholders for a way forward.