Court adjourns injured journalist Ashraf Kasirye’s case hearing against State over the absence of Attorney General
The High Court Judge in Civil Division Esta Nambayo has adjourned the mentioning of a case in which Ghetto TV journalist Ashraf Kasirye is suing the state for assault meted on him by Police and the army.
Justice Nambayo on Thursday adjourned the case to 25th March 2021 since the Attorney General (respondent) failed to reply to the application which was saved to him last year in December by the applicant.
On 18th November 2020 while in Luuka district, Kasirye was pepper-sprayed by police while taking pictures of officers who were arresting the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.
While narrating the ordeal on his sickbed in Jinja hospital after two days, Kasirye said that the attack was a targeted move on specific people. “They opened my eyes and mouth and pepper-sprayed inside. I tried to tighten my jaws but they forcefully opened my mouth and sprayed inside. I can’t see well and feel a lot of heat in the stomach. My phone, tripod stand, and microphone were taken.”
It’s from this background that through the help of Unwanted Witness Uganda, Kasirye managed to get lawyers from Mpamizo, Nabaasa and Akineza Advocates and sued the state demanding it to foot his medical bills and also punish the perpetrators.
On 3rd December 2020, the lawyers filed an application on enforcement of human rights against the state to the Civil Division High Court and even served the office of the attorney general on 22nd the same month.
On 11th march was the day for the mention of the case, however, the attorney did not appear in the court because he did not reply to the application, a move that forced lady justice Nambayo to adjourn the court hearing.
However, before the adjournment, one of Kasirye’s lawyers Akineza Augustine asked the court to allow them also to include in the notice of motion another incident where Kasirye was hit on the head by the security operatives on 27th December while on the campaign trail of the Bobi Wine in Masaka.
“Your worship, we seek for the indulgence of this court since 10 days after failing our case, our client was again vigorously assaulted by the security operatives in Kyabakuza Masaka where he almost suffered brain damage. Fortunately, he is recovering, therefore our prayer is that since the Attorney general has not replied to the former, we seek the court to allow us amended that motion and include the incident of 27th December 2020 that brought injuries to Kasirye,” said Akineza.
According to Akineza, Kasirye’s life is not yet stable to be in the court and they need the court to come out and inform the state to stop brutality on Ugandans “We need the court to come out inform the government to the increasing brutality on journalists, secondly we want the government to compensate Kasirye since the first incident.”
On the prayer of amending their notice of motion, the judge conceded to it and granted them one week to amend and re-serve the attorney general up to 18th March.
“This court grants you one week to amend your application and serve the attorney general using a court server, the case is adjourned to 25th March for mention and the respondent should have been saved,” said the judge.journalists Legal Aid Unwanted Witness Uganda