“Keep the People Uninformed”. Pre-election Threats to Free Expression and Association in Uganda

As Ugandans head to parliamentary and presidential elections in February 2016, freedom of expression and association are under serious threat. Political tensions are running high and the government faces public discontent on a range of issues, such as government allocation for health and education services, corruption, widespread unemployment combined with a massive youth population and the rising cost of living. In response, during the past year, numerous state agencies and officials – police, internal security officials, and resident district commissioners (presidentially appointed senior civil servants who monitor government programs and security in each district) – have engaged in a range of tactics to intimidate and obstruct speech critical of the government, particularly in rural areas and during non-English radio broadcasts outside of Kampala, where government action is subject to less international and domestic scrutiny.

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