Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Uganda19 January 2005

Journalist with Arabic-language TV station arrested and robbed

Reporters Without Borders today condemned yesterday’s arrest and overnight detention of a Mauritanian journalist working for an Iranian Arabic-language TV news station when he tried to enter Uganda from Kenya as part of his coverage of an African tour by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami.

After detaining Mohammed Abdullah Ould Memmine of Al-Alam television on his arrival yesterday in his car at the border town of Busia, the Ugandan authorities took his money and held him overnight in a cell.

"It is not normal that a journalist should be manhandled and treated like a terrorist just because he works for an Arabic-language news organisation," Reporters Without Borders said.

"The attitude of the Ugandan authorities betrays a feeling of impunity and shows that, despite the recent decriminalization of press offences, vigilance remains the order of the day in this country," the press freedom organisation added.

Reached by telephone, Memmine told Reporters Without Borders that the customs officials refused to let him into Uganda and stamped an entry ban in his passport. After asking him for money, they searched his car and took some 3,000 dollars and 400 euros. Memmine had to spend the night in very small cell with ordinary detainees.

He has been working for Al-Alam since October 2003 and was covering the Iranian president’s tour of seven African countries (Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mali, Benin, Zimbabwe and Uganda).

In this country
29 April - Uganda
Military intelligence raids new fortnightly, arrests publisher and two journalists
20 February - Uganda
Community radio presenter raped and killed
3 April - Uganda
How to "kick out" a foreign journalist
24 February - Uganda
Net censorship reaches sub-Saharan Africa
25 January - Uganda
Government puts foreign press under close watch four weeks before election

in the annual report
Uganda - Annual report 2006

Africa press releases
3 June - Somalia
Alarm at TV station director’s abduction near Mogadishu
27 May - Gabon
Government imposes news blackout on President Bongo’s health
26 May - Somalia
Radio reporter shot by militia dies of injuries, fourth journalist to be killed this year

africa archives

18 March 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo
“Bukavu, murder city”: investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu
21 May 2008 - Eritrea
Naizghi Kiflu, the dictatorship’s eminence grise
6 March 2008 - Kenya
"How far to go ?" Kenya’s media caught in the turmoil of a failed election

Sign the petitions
Sign the petition for the release of ten Eritrean journalists