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Uganda Police: We beat up journalists to protect them

Uganda Police says it has been beating up journalists covering opposition rallies in order to ‘protect’ them and will, thus, not apologize for the acts.

The country’s Inspector-General of Police Okoth Ochola, while addressing the media on Friday, also warned Ugandans planning protests during the¬†election week they will ‘regret why they were born’.

“We have been beating journalists to restrain them from going where there’s danger,” he explained.

“Police beat journalists to help them… for their own safety. When a police officer tells you to stop, you must stop for your own safety. I won’t apologize for police actions.”

Ochola sounded the warning six days before the country heads of the polls to elect its next president

Journalists have been injured, some of them seriously, while others have been hospitalized following recent attacks by police while on the campaign trail.

This led to a move by a section of journalists to walk out of a media briefing by the army last week.

Not done, Ochola fired a separate warning to those who may consider engaging in protests.

“I would like to assure the whole country that whoever causes trouble will regret why his or her mother gave birth to him.”

The campaign period in Uganda has been marred by violence and protests, leading to injuries and deaths of about 50, most of which came at the hands of the Police.

Leading opposition candidates Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and Patrick Amuriat of the Forum for Restoration of Change (FDC) have also been assaulted and arrested by police on several occasions, and locked up.

President Yoweri Museveni, who’s ruled the country for three and a half decades, is keen to extend his term in office and will be seeking a sixth consecutive five-year term.