Uganda arrests, deports foreign journalists over elections

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Uganda has deported journalists attached to CBC News, a Canadian public broadcaster, who were in the country to cover the 2021 General Election, DailyMonitor reports.

The journalists include Margaret Evans, Lily Martin and Jean-Francois Bisson, a videographer.

Ms Evans stated on her social media platform that they were arrested last week by Ugandan immigration officers and detained for 10 hours before being deported.

“#Ugandan gov’t [government] avoiding outside scrutiny of Jan[uary] elections already. We were deported Friday even though we had official media credentials,” she tweeted.

Mr Jacob Siminyu, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Uganda, yesterday declined to explain why the Canadian journalists were deported.

Efforts to reach Mr Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of  Uganda Media Centre, on his known mobile phone were futile, according to DailyMonitor.

However, Mr Opondo is said to have had tweeted in response to Ms Evans’ tweet that: “Do we really need you to scrutinise our electoral process to qualify as credible? Uganda reserves the right to admit foreign persons, including journalists. Good, stay where you are.”

President Museveni and some government officials have been alleging that some foreigners are helping or favouring the Opposition for a regime change in Uganda.

Mr Museveni has repeatedly claimed that the National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, Bobi Wine, is being supported by foreigners.

He has not given evidence to prove his claim, which Bobi Wine has dismissed as a campaign gimmick.

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