Ouganda: arrestation du cinéaste Kalundi Serumaga

Je relaye cette information envoyée par le PEN CLUB INTERNATIONAL, suite à l’arrestation le 11 septembre dernier du cinéaste et journaliste Kalundi Serumaga. (K.A)


14 September 2009

RAN 48/09

Uganda: Journalist arrested and beaten

International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) has received
disturbing news of the arrest of journalist, filmmaker and talk show host,
Kalundi Serumaga, on 11 September 2009. It is reported that he has suffered
severe beatings, requiring hospital treatment. PEN urgently calls for the
release of Kalundi Serumaga, who appears to be detained solely for having
spoken on recent clashes in Kampala and nearby Kayunga.

Kalundi Serumaga was arrested at 11 pm as he left the the studios of WBS
Television in Kampala where he had participated in a debate in which he had
been critical of Ugandan President Museveni. Eyewitnesses report that he was
bundled into a waiting car and taken away. Two hours later it was disclosed
that he was being held in the Kampala Central Police Station. He is thought
to be facing charges of sedition and inciting violence.

Today, 14 September, it was reported that Serumaga had been transferred to
the International Hospital in Kampala to receive treatment for injuries he
sustained under severe police beatings. He told reporters that he expects to
stay in hospital for a least a day, but that he would be returned to police

Violence broke out when the government banned the King of Buganda, one of
the four tribal regions in Uganda, to the neighbouring Kayunga district.
Over 20 people are said to have been killed, and 550 others, including
Serumaga, have reportedly been arrested to face trial.

Serumaga is a respected writer and journalist and popular host of a daily
radio talk show, “Spectrum”. On 14 September the allAfrica.com website
published an article by Serumaga on the disturbances entitled ‘Things fall
apart – Again…’ Here he discusses the background to the riots. He opens his
piece: “Most people are familiar with the proverbial last straw that broke
the camels’ back. However, rarely does anyone get to see the actual straw,
and the moment it is laid on. The final stages of the breakdown of the
always troubled relationship between Buganda and Uganda’s NRM-led central
government, may provide just the opportunity for such a rare sighting.” He
describes police in Kayunga town a few days earlier “… found themselves
hard pressed to contain rampaging bands of Baganda youth, who were torching
kiosks, arming themselves with makeshift weapons and forcing passers-by to
sing Buganda’s national anthem. As shopkeepers closed their doors, the
initial police response was to fire live rounds just above the rioters’
heads while waiting for the arrival of the anti-riot squads, backed up by
solders in armoured vehicles and club-wielding goons. As the trouble spread,
a group of soldiers scaled the wall of the tower hosting the Buganda
Kingdom’s main radio station transmitter, and ordered it turned off.” For
the full article go to: http://allafrica.com/stories/200909140844.html

Three other radio stations were also closed. Reporters Without Borders
reported on 13 September: “Information minister Kabakumba Matsiko announced
the suspension of three privately-owned radio stations – Suubi FM, Radio
Sapienta and Radio Two Akaboozi Kubiri – on 11 September for inciting riots
and “criminal mobs engaged in acts of theft, violence against persons, and
destruction of property.” The previous evening the authorities had closed
CBS, a station owned by the Kingdom of Buganda, one of Uganda’s traditional
kingdoms. »

For more go to:

Reports on clashes in Kampala:

BBC News:

Please send appeals:

• Expressing concern that Kalundi Serumaga appears to be detained solely for
having commented on the recent disturbances in Kampala and Kayunga in recent
• Adding alarm at the reports that he has been beaten in custody, sustaining
injuries that require hospital treatment;
• Therefore calling for Kalundi Serumaga to be released and for assurances
that he will not face prosecution on charges that contravene the UN
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which it acceded in
1995 and which specifically guarantees the right to freedom of expression,
and protection against torture and ill-treatment.

Yoweri Museveni
Parliament Building
PO Box 7168
Kampala, Uganda
Fax: + 256 414 346 102
Email: info@gouexecutive.net Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister for Security
Amama Mbabazi
Ministry of Security
Office of the President
P.O. Box 7168
Kampala, Uganda
Fax: +256 414 344012 Salutation: Dear Minister

If sending appeals after 24 September 2009, please contact us at the address
below for any updates.

For further information please contact Tamsin Mitchell at the Writers in
Prison Committee of International PEN, Brownlow House, 50-51 High Holborn,
London WC1V 6ER Tel: +44 (02) 20 7405 0338 Fax: +44 (0) 20 74050339 Email:

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