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FULL LETTER: World Newspapers Petition Museveni over Detention of Red Pepper Bosses

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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have written to Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni over the detention of eight staff and closure of the Red Pepper.

Last month, police arrested the eight Red Pepper staff over a story that claimed Uganda’s three-decade president Yoweri Museveni was planning to topple Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.

Government has since denied Museveni is plotting Kagame’s overthrow.

Police would later search Red Pepper offices and close them tabloid.

Court has charged the publication’s directors and editors with disturbing Museveni’s peace.

On Tuesday, court denied the Red Pepper staff bail after prosecution said their release would jeopardise national security.

Local activists have condemned the continued detention of the staff.

And so have international actors, including the US.

On Wednesday, US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac was engaged in a tweef with information minister Frank Tumwebaze over the same issue.

WORLD ASSOCIATION OF NEWSPAPERS AND NEWS PUBLISHERS AND WORLD EDITORS FORUM ON RED PEPPER CLOSURE

WAN-IFRA adds to the voices calling for the release of the Red Pepper bosses and the reopening of the tabloid’s premises.

“We write to express our condemnation of the handling of this case,” reads part of the petition.

Michael Golden, president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers; David Callaway of the World Editors Forum.

“If government believes that the editors indeed committed a crime in publishing details of this story, then we respectfully remind the relevant authorities that the rule of law exists in Uganda and that due procedure therefore should have been followed.”

Read full letter

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