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Eight Uganda tabloid staff freed on bail

December 19, 2017

A Ugandan court on Tuesday released eight editors and directors of one of the country’s most popular newspapers, who were charged with treason last month, effectively stalling the tabloid’s operations.

The eight men — five directors and three editors — were arrested during a police raid on offices of the privately owned English-language Red Pepper and its local-language sister publications.

They were charged with treason over an article implicating President Yoweri Museveni in a plot to overthrow his Rwandan counterpart.

A Kampala court released the men on bail of 20 million Ugandan shillings each ($5,000).

“It has been a month of uncertainty for these journalists as they have been moved from one detention centre to another but to also their families that have endured this ordeal,” their lawyer Dickens Byamukama told AFP.

“It’s not only these (directors and editors) that have suffered but also the Red Pepper group’s readers that have not seen the papers on the streets since the police sealed off and took over the premises,” he added.

They will next appear in court on January 19.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.