Amnesty International slams Uganda’s press crackdown

Amnesty International has criticized Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for repression against the press. Here, a Ugandan man reads a newspaper while a security officer patrols nearby, on May 11, 2011, in Kampala, where people had gathered hoping to welcome opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, who was due to arrive that day, but whose flight was blocked by Uganda.

For many years now Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (in power a quarter century and counting) has been lurching towards authoritarianism.

When he took power at the head of a rebel army in 1986 Museveni was lauded as one of the new breed of African leaders, rebel-democrats who would transform the continent, throwing out the old dinosaurs and dictators.

In the 1990s he was mentioned in the same breath as Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi and – incredibly given where he’s taken his tiny country since – Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki.

How wrong that picture was. All four men have tightly gripped power ever since and instead of liberating their countries have become Africa's new 'Big Men.'

So it’s no surprise that Museveni has been cracking down on the press in Uganda, whether local or international.

GlobalPost has reported on this trend before but now the international human rights group Amnesty International has issued a report slamming Uganda’s crackdown on the media as well as its repression of opposition politicians and critics of all kinds.

The report titled ‘Stifling Dissent’ is both an interesting, and worrying, read.