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News from Uganda

Freedom of Expression and Assembly

In July, the government implemented a social media tax requiring users of WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook, among other sites, to pay a daily fee of 200 Ugandan Shillings (US$0.05). At a protest march against the tax in Kampala on July 11, police fired live bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstration which the police deemed “illegal.”

In July, the government implemented a social media tax requiring users of WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook, among other sites, to pay a daily fee of 200 Ugandan Shillings (US$0.05). At a protest march against the tax in Kampala on July 11, police fired live bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstration which the police deemed “illegal.” Protestors argued the tax violated Ugandans rights to free expression and information. 

In June, security officials in Kitgum, northern Ugandan, banned a song by musician Bosmic Otim that was critical of government officials for being “misleading” and “inciting violence.” The song criticized four parliamentarians for allegedly being sycophants of government and unresponsive to citizens’ problems in northern Uganda. 

On June 5, police arrested six people as they attempted to petition police leadership at Naguru Police Headquarters in Kampala as part of a protest over numerous kidnappings and unresolved murders of women and children. Anti-terrorism and anti-riot police were deployed to block the activists from accessing the premises. 

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