In Summary
  • Red Pepper published a story on Monday that claimed relations between Uganda and Rwanda are deteriorating. The Uganda Foreign Affairs ministry dismissed the report as fake.
  • A court order allowed police to search the media house's computers and staff were detained as officers demanded to search their phones and other media equipment.

Uganda police have raided the offices of an independent media house in the capital Kampala.

The officers, led by Kampala Metropolitan Commander Frank Mwesigwa, on Tuesday searched Red Pepper’s head office in Namanve, Mukono District.

POLICE RAID

A search warrant signed by the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court authorised the officers to search “….laptops, desktops, CPUs, computer accessories (electronics) and any other document related to Red Pepper news publication vol. 17 no.152 of Monday, November, 2017.”

The Red Pepper lead story on Monday reported deteriorating relations between Uganda and Rwanda. The Uganda Foreign Affairs ministry dismissed the report as fake.

The court order to search premises was sought by one Henry Peter Walya, an Assistant Inspector of Police.

"The RedPepperUG is currently under siege by the Counter Terrorism Unit of the @PoliceUg & @metropolitanpoliceug," said the paper's company secretary Arinaitwe Rugyendo on his Twitter handle.

PHONES

Red Pepper management said on their social media platforms that staff were also ordered to handover phones, iPads and laptops to be searched.

"Police have told some of our staff members to stay behind because they are going to search their homes as well," says Mr Patrick Mugumya, the chief operations officer, Pepper Publications Group.

In Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya, journalists continued to experience legal and political pressure, as well as physical attacks and intimidation.

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