The head of the United Nations agency entrusted with defending press freedom today urged Ugandan authorities to launch a full investigation into this week's murder of a radio news presenter, the second journalist to be killed in the African nation in three days.
“I condemn the brutal murder of Dickson Ssentongo,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a statement issued today.
“The tragic killings of Mr. Ssentongo and freelance journalist Paul Kiggundu three days earlier sound the alarm for freedom of expression in Uganda, and I urge the Ugandan authorities to leave no stone unturned in the efforts to find those responsible for these crimes.”
A news presenter at Radio Prime for two years, Mr. Ssentongo, 29, was politically active and regularly discussed the activities of various political parties on air. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), he was beaten on Monday by unidentified assailants wielding metal bars while on his way to work in Mukono district in central Uganda, and died in hospital several hours later.
Last Friday, Mr. Kiggundu was killed by an angry crowd during a demonstration he was covering in the southern town of Rakai.