Uganda protest: Reporters tear-gassed at Daily Monitor

Media and members of Uganda's Human Rights Network for Journalists struggle with police as they protest outside the Daily Monitor newspaper head office, in Kampala, Uganda, 28  May 2013 Journalists had planned a peaceful protest outside the newspaper offices

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Police in Uganda's capital have fired tear gas to disperse journalists protesting near the offices of a paper closed by the authorities last week.

A BBC reporter says two journalists were arrested and that others were beaten by officers using batons.

They had gathered to protest against the continued police occupation of the private Daily Monitor's premises.

It and another paper were raided for publishing reports that the president was grooming his son to succeed him.

Start Quote

This is a violation of media freedom and economic sabotage”

End Quote Geoffrey Ssebaggala Protester

They reported claims allegedly made by an army general that those opposed to President Yoweri Museveni's son succeeding him risk being killed.

Mr Museveni has been in power since 1986, and elections are due in 2016.

There has been long-standing speculation that his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, a brigadier in the army, is being groomed as his successor.

The government has denied having any such plans.

Evidence

The BBC's Ignatius Bahizi, in Kampala, says Uganda's Human Rights Network for Journalists had organised peaceful sit-down demonstrations outside the offices.

A crowd of about 100 journalists and activists had gathered outside the Daily Monitor on Tuesday morning, he says.

"This is a violation of media freedom and economic sabotage," rights activist Geoffrey Ssebaggala shouted at police, AFP news agency reports.

Police chief Kale Kayihura told the BBC on Monday evening that the media houses - The Daily Monitor and Red Pepper - would remain closed until they co-operated with police.

The authorities want evidence of how the Daily Monitor got hold of the confidential letter, purportedly written by Gen David Sejusa, who is out of the country.

Daily Monitor managing director Alex Asiimwe told our reporter the paper would continue to refuse to reveal its sources.

Two radio stations, linked to the Daily Monitor, also remain off air.

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