Statement on restriction to freedom of expression and assembly in Uganda
Iceland joins the European Union Delegation, the Heads of Mission of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom and the Heads of Mission of Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea and United States on the issuing the following statement on restriction to freedom of expression and assembly in Uganda.
We are deeply concerned with a series of recent incidents restricting the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in Uganda. Of particular concern to us is the Uganda Communications Commission's decision, on April 30, to suspend senior staff members of 13 radio and television stations on allegations of breaching minimum broadcasting standards. We are also concerned about the excessive use of force by Ugandan police and security services against peaceful protesters and political opposition.
We note that Uganda’s Constitution, as well as regional and international standards, guarantees both freedom of speech and expression as well as freedom of assembly. We urge the Government of Uganda to ensure the implementation of all the relevant laws and regulations in a way that allows all Ugandans, regardless of political affiliation, to exercise fully and without fear their basic democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution.
Finally, we underline the importance of upholding judicial processes and stress the importance of full respect for the Rule of Law and the right to a fair trial as set down in the Constitution.