Uganda blocks social media, Arrests Opposition Leader

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Thursday February 18, 2016 - 21:57:21 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Uganda blocks social media, Arrests Opposition Leader

    Kampala - (Horn Observer) Ugandan police arrested on Thursday an opposition leader in Kampala and blocked social media platforms as the country wraps up voting for the presidential election, news reports said.

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Uganda Elections voting. Photo Credit: ACME Uganda
Kampala - (Horn Observer) Ugandan police arrested on Thursday an opposition leader in Kampala and blocked social media platforms as the country wraps up voting for the presidential election, news reports said.

 

 Shawn Muburi, who is in charge of communications for Besigye's Forum for Democratic Change party, said Besigye was arrested late Thursday in the Kampala suburb of Naguru, where he had gone to investigate alleged ballot stuffing in a house run by the intelligence agencies.

"Besigye was arrested and taken to an unknown location” shawn Muburi told AP.

According to the US based committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Uganda Communications Commission cited an unspecified threat to national security to justify blocking access to Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp at around 8 a.m. local time, an hour after voting began. Access to the services remained blocked on mobile phones at 9:15 p.m. local time. 

 The Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), a leading provider of mobile-phone service in the country, said on Twitter that the commission had ordered it to disable all social media and mobile money-transferring services "due to a threat to public order and safety." It was not immediately clear if all mobile phone companies had complied with the order.

"These social media platforms are an important tool for gathering and publicizing news from around Uganda on polling day," CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney said from New York. "Closing them raises suspicions that any irregularities in voting may not be reported in a timely manner. Such censorship undermines the democratic process."

More than 15 million people are registered to vote, casting ballots in more than 28,000 polling stations for both a president and members of parliament, with 290 seats being contested by candidates from 29 political parties.

Source: Horn Observe and Agencies

 




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