World Press Freedom Day Celebrations in Uganda
World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is an annual event that was first proclaimed during the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and is celebrated on 3rd May every year. This year celebrations marked its 20th anniversary.
The event was celebrated for the first time in Gulu, Uganda on 3 May 2013 with a one day Press Forum on the theme “Ensuring the Safety of Journalists and Media Workers.”
The UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa together with the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the Uganda Police Force, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR), Uganda Journalists Association, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) celebrated the day at the Hotel Kakanyero in Gulu, Uganda.
The Press Forum was meant to create a space for debate on the issue of safety of journalists and media workers in Uganda. Furthermore possible national mechanisms were discussed to address safety of journalists and the issue of impunity in Uganda. Other activities included a procession of journalists, press dialogue; talk shows; among other activities aimed at opening discussions on safety of journalists and media workers training.
This year’s event enabled journalists, media workers, law enforcement officer and policy makers to deliberate and express their concerns about issues affecting safety of journalists in the country and also discuss the implications of legislations such as the Interception of Communication Law on the Safety of Journalists and Media Workers. The events aimed at promoting a free, independent and pluralistic media environment where attacks, intimidation, harassment, abductions, arbitrary imprisonments, and threats are the exceptions and not the norm.
Uganda has continued to join UNESCO in its continued interventions in upholding its mandate to promote freedom of expression and its corollary, freedom of the press.
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