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Uganda Military Chief Apologises For Beating Journalists

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The gruesome images circulating on social media showing Uganda Military Police chasing, whipping Journalists and severely injuring them have triggered both local and international condemnation.

Early Friday, Uganda’s Chief of Defence Force, Gen. David Muhoozi, apologized for the brutality soldiers meted out against journalists. A few officers have been sent to the army court as a result.

On February 17, 2021, Robert Kyagulanyi, the leader of National Unity Platform political party, walked to the UNHRC offices in the capital Kampala to present his petition against the January 14, Presidential Elections.

The petition move attracted several journalists that turned up outside the UNHCR compound to cover the event. The military ordered its foot soldiers to disperse any crowding outside the UN office.

“We went to the UN Human Rights office in Kampala to deliver a petition against the continuing abductions, torture and murder of our supporters. The military was waiting outside the gate,” Kyagulanyi said.

He added, “In a very contemptuous manner, they descended on everyone they could land on and beat them without mercy. They smashed windscreens of the vehicles we went with. Several colleagues were rushed to hospital. Museveni will certainly not force us into submission. We shall be free.”

Meanwhile, the government later ordered for the arrest and immidiate trial of soldiers that were involved in beating up these journalists.

“We have accepted that it is wrong and have apologised. We have offered to pay for the medical bills of those journalists,” Lt Col Deo Akiiki, Deputy Spokesperson of the military said later, adding, “In our (Military) training curriculum, we are going to include training on media matter, how to handle journalists.”

However, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda Kira, Municipality Member of Parliament, castigated the military saying that, “There’s absolutely nothing different between you and other armies that this country has seen. If anything, you are worse. You are the ones abducting people and justifying it.”

A concerned Ugandan Derrick Muloogi argues, “Army has no business with civilians. Your army is everything. It’s the court,  Police, and judges. You arrest civilians, and align them in court martial.  You are worse than previous armies. An army  headed by a person with a Master in laws? Shame.”

Lt Col Akiiki was squeezed during a televised debate on the brutality of the military. He submitted, “We are not from Mars, we are human being and therefore are prone to mistakes. What we do after such mistakes is important and we have taken action to right the wrong.”

MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda in the same debate reminded Lt Col Akiiki that, “We pick you from the ociety and train you because we are entrusting you with our power. The guns you hold are ours. The moment you turn those guns on us, you are no different from other criminals.”

Jackson Kafuuzi, Deputy Attorney General, acknowledges that the military went overboard, “We have international standards. Everytime we go against them, we get condemnation.”

According to him, however, “the problem is that those doing the condemnation like EU are trying to do it from a point of superiority.”

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Crime

Radical Genocide Denier, Idamange To Appear Before Court On Thursday

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Taarifa has learnt that Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne will appear before the Gasabo intermediate court this Thursday to answer several charges including inciting public disorder, resisting lawful arrest, and aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer.

She was arrested on February 15, 2021, at around 4 PM, during a joint operation between Police and Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB).

Police, upon her arrest, said that since January 31, 2021, Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne, 42, had “exhibited behavior that mixes politics, criminality, and madness on different media platforms. This conduct invited the attention and close scrutiny of law enforcement.”

During the arrest, the suspect allegedly used a bottle to cause head injuries to the officer who was immediately taken to Kacyiru District Hospital for medical attention.

The suspect is a popular YouTuber who claims to be an activist, but the content she publishes on her channel has caused irrational reactions including, largely, serving as a mockery to genocide survivors and negating facts surrounding the Genocide against the Tutsi, according to observers.

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Crime

Sarkozy Could Request To Be Detained At Home

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy qualifies to request to serve his prison sentence from home, court said on Monday.

The 66-year-old Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption and abuse of office and was ultimately sentenced to a three-year prison sentence with two years suspended.

Taking into account the two years suspended, the sentence of one year jail means it is unlikely Sarkozy will physically go to prison, a punishment that in France usually applies to jail terms in excess of two years.

Sarkozy reamins free, since no arrest warrant has been issued.

Sarkozy was president of France from 2007 to 2012, would be entitled to request to be detained at home, but could be obliged to wear an electronic bracelet.

The prosecution had asked for a four-year prison term, with two years suspended. The crime of corruption of an official carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Only one other French president, Sarkozy’s political mentor Jacques Chirac, was put on trial after leaving office, but he was excused from having to attend his 2011 corruption trial because of ill health.

Sarkozy’s two co-defendants, the lawyer Thierry Herzog and former senior judge Gilbert Azibert, were also found guilty and given the same sentence as Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy will face another trial later this month along with 13 other people on charges related to the alleged illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign.

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Crime

Live: Rusesabagina’s Trial

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