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HomeOpinionA Brutal Silencing: My Story of Survival as a Journalist

A Brutal Silencing: My Story of Survival as a Journalist

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As I reflect on my journey as a journalist, I am reminded of the day that I will never forget – the day I was brutally attacked by a mob while covering a story at the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi. The scars I still bear to date, the loss of my teeth, and the trauma that still lingers in my mind are the attestation to the price I paid for pursuing my journalism career.

I was doing my job, reporting on a story that needed to be told, when I was ambushed by a group of thugs. They were determined to silence me, to break my spirit and my body. The police, who were present, did nothing to intervene, leaving me to the mercy of my attackers.

The beating was merciless, with blows raining down on me from all directions. I lost count of how many times I was punched, despite the fact that I was helpless.My lower lip was torn apart, and I was left with a gaping wound that required surgical repair. My teeth were broken, my equipment was destroyed, and my notes were confiscated.

But the physical pain was only part of the story. The emotional trauma was just as severe. I was left feeling helpless, vulnerable, and alone. The attack was a stark reminder that, as a journalist, I am a target for those who seek to silence the truth.

Despite the brutality, I refused to be silenced. I continued to write, to speak out, and to shine a light on the darkness. My story is not unique; it is the story of countless journalists around the world who have faced similar attacks. We are the ones who venture into dangerous territories, who expose corruption and abuse of power, and who give voice to the voiceless.

On this World Press Freedom Day, I stand in solidarity with my fellow journalists who have faced similar challenges. William Mutyaba, a field journalist was assaulted by students of St Augustine Secondary School in 2018 after one of their teachers instructed them to do so.

Twaha Mukiibi, a journalist working with NBS TV, was assaulted by police officers in Kyengera while he interviewed leaders of the notorious ‘Kifeesi’ gang.

We are not just journalists; we are soldiers with pens and lenses, fighting for the right to know and the power of the truth. We are the ones who have been beaten, jailed, and killed for doing our job.

But we will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated. We will continue to shine a light on the darkness, to expose the lies and the corruption, and to give voice to the voiceless. We will continue to hold the powerful accountable, and to bring hope to a world that often seems too dark and too cruel.

On this International Press Freedom Day, I raise my voice in unity to condemn the brutality and violence against journalists worldwide. We stand in solidarity with the courageous men and women who risk their lives to bring us the truth, hold the powerful accountable, and shed light on the darkest corners of our world.

To governments, authorities, and those who perpetrate violence against journalists, we say:

  • Stop the intimidation, harassment, and assault!
  • Respect the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information!
  • Protect journalists, not persecute them!

To journalists and media workers, we say:

  • Your work is vital, your voices matter, and your courage inspires!
  • We stand with you, support you, and celebrate your dedication to truth and transparency!
  • Keep shining a light on the darkness, and know that your sacrifices will not be forgotten!

Let us join forces to create a world where journalists can work without fear, where truth is valued, and where freedom of the press is cherished.

I honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in pursuit of truth and ensure that their legacy lives on.

I will continue to write, to speak out, and to shine a light on the darkness, no matter the cost. For I know that the truth will always prevail, and that the pen will always be mightier than the sword.

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