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Uganda press freedom under scrutiny

June 27, 2013 at 10:22 AM

PARIS, June 27 (UPI) -- The United Nations said it was concerned about press freedom in Uganda in response to the alleged murder of a journalist for the New Vision newspaper.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization reports New Vision journalist Thomas Pere was discovered dead just outside Kampala on the morning of June 17. He was last seen alive the previous evening when he left New Vision offices in the Ugandan capital.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said the "murder" of Pere was an assault on press freedoms in Uganda.

"The murder of a journalist is a crime against the whole of society; an attempt to choke off democratic debate and muzzle the basic right of freedom of expression," she said in a statement Wednesday. "A clear message must be sent to the perpetrators of such crimes that their acts will not go unpunished."

Monitor Publications Ltd., parent company of Ugandan newspaper The Daily Monitor, issued an apology last month after its offices were raided by security forces. It said its editorial policy had been violated when it published a feature alleging orders were given to kill anyone who stated opposition to Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

UNESCO did not state the two incidents were related.

Kainerugaba this week denied claims he was being groomed to succeed his father.

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