As the Unwanted Witness joins the rest of the world to commemorate Social Media day today, unwanted witness notes that there is growing concern of dwindling freedom on social media enjoyment in Uganda. This follows trends of threats and subsequent detention of social Media users in Uganda by government institutions.
Early this year, an online activist Jonathan Akweteireho was arrested and detained by Masindi police for being vocal on social media https://unwantedwitness.or.ug/police-is-harassing-an-online-activist-in-mid-western-uganda/
An alleged government critic on social media Robert Shaka was also jailed at the beginning of the month of June. Shaka is charged with “offensive communication.” The government alleged that Shaka, an information and security analyst, violated the Computer Misuse Act by posting statements about the president’s health status. Many cases like Shaka` s go unreported across the country with citizens being unlawfully arrested.
While the Internet has for a very long time been a vital source of information, news and provides platforms where individuals can express their thoughts, opinion and views, in a manner that is yet to be censored. Recent media reports point to a worrying trend in Uganda.
Such platforms that constitute social media, the Unwanted Witness notes should be kept unrestricted at all costs for the enjoyment of such sacred rights ordinarily enjoyed offline, especially the freedoms of expression, opinion and thought as the Internet provides new boundaries without frontiers.
The Unwanted Witness thus recommends;
- Reform through amending the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 2010 to bring an end to unwarranted mass surveillance currently orchestrated under the draconian law.
- Establish an independent commission/ agency to provide oversight to agencies involved in communication surveillance & supervise the monitoring center.
See also useful links below.
In this regard The Unwanted witness seeks to petition all candidates in the forthcoming 2016 general elections to; respect, promote, and uphold such fundamental rights and freedoms including the right to privacy & protect personal data.
Join the move and sign the Petition.