I have written twice to the BBC (as well as to ITV News and Channel 4 News) about the complete lack of media coverage about Uganda which is certainly making it much easier for Museveni to get away with his violent repression of anyone suspected of supporting the opposition. Bobi Wine has said that the more the world knows about the violation of human rights, the safer people will be. The western media therefore has a significant part to play which they are failing to do.
Please copy (or adapt) this letter and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and your local BBC offices. Perhaps you could also send it to the other News channels.
WHY is the BBC not providing daily coverage of the appalling abuse of human rights in Uganda which has been going on every day for many months? The situation is far worse in Uganda than it is in Myanmar – and has been going on for longer. And yet you have news about Myanmar (quite rightly) on TV and Radio every day – but not a word about Uganda!
Surely the BBC is aware of the allegedly rigged Presidential Election on 12th January 2021? Uganda is under the control of a de facto military regime even more violent than in Myanmar, with President Museveni as the brutal dictator who has publicly stated that he has ordered the abduction, torture and killing of supporters of the NUP opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi (aka Bobi Wine). Thousands have “disappeared” already. Unlike in Myanmar, people cannot even take part in peaceful demonstrations.
Every day, people are suffering – and the world knows nothing about it. The BBC is failing not only the British public but the people of Uganda and the values of democracy and human rights which the BBC is supposed to stand for. I am bitterly disappointed.
In response to posts on Twitter about the lack of BBC coverage, Ugandans have said the following:
- “I complained about [the lack of BBC coverage] too. True the situation in Uganda is much much worse [than in Myanmar]. People are being abducted every day, scores killed and thousands in “detention centres”. Worse, the Minister of Internal Affairs cannot account for them!”
- “Yes – help us find out why we have been forgotten and yet we are dying every day. What can we do – we need our freedom.”
- “BBC has two Ugandans working as its correspondents in the region. They are Catherine Byaruhanga and Patience Atuhaire. Either they don’t consider dictator Museveni’s atrocities newsworthy or their reports concerning those atrocities are suppressed by BBC.”
- “In order to save whatever is left of his tattered image, Museveni will go after any known Ugandan journalist who reports the human rights abuses in the country to international media houses. It’s possible the two ladies are genuinely scared.”
- “BBC recycled Catherine Byaruhanga’s recent article a few times. It cleverly whitewashed Museveni’s electoral fraud, referred to Bobi Wine as a ghetto President in an attempt to diminish him. But Museveni lost, and is now abducting and killing to hide the evidence.”
- “I think Catherine Byaruhanga no longer reports from Uganda. She normally does a good job and is often thorough. She is now in Sudan. It’s Patience Atuhaire whose reporting is usually not concise and detailed enough. Must be an issue of skills rather than suppression.”
Another possibility why you are not getting reliable, independent news of the serious violation of human rights in Uganda is that one or both of your Reporters in Uganda are compromised, perhaps by having links with Museveni or members of his party and government. Or maybe they have been intimidated and are too frightened because of the assaults on journalists in Uganda.
Whatever the reasons for the lack of informed news from Uganda, I would urge you to send in reporters who are unbiased and will be safe from reprisals so that you can start telling the world what is really happening in Uganda. This will have an impact on Museveni and his henchmen, inhibiting their campaign to wipe out the opposition supporters with impunity.
For further information on the situation, please go to this online page and follow the links to all the relevant pages to find out what is going on and why the BBC needs to report daily on the situation.
I look forward to hearing from you – but even more, to hearing regular reports and discussions on the BBC about the situation in Uganda.