Uwanted Witness drags UCC to Court over regulations on Online publishers.

Unwanted Witness Uganda sues Ugandan Communication Commission, seeks to uphold Freedom of expression and privacy for Online publishers.

Kampala, 8th /June/2018, The telecom regulator, Uganda Communication Commission has been dragged to the courts of law for violating online freedoms by issuing directives requiring profiling of online publishers in Uganda. The suit filed by the Unwanted Witness seeks for a permanent injunction against the perpetrators because their intended actions violate fundamental human rights, contravened national, regional and international legal frameworks.

The law suit follows a public notice issued by the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) and published in the media on 6th May 2018 directing all online publishers to register and seek authorization from the regulator for publishing rights.

Unwanted Witness wants court to uphold internet freedoms and deter UCC from profiling and conducting surveillance on users. We further want court to pronounce that these unprecedented directives are illegal since they violate the rights of Ugandan citizens and online journalists to the freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed by articles 27 and 29 (1) (a)  of the constitution of Uganda, 9 of the African Charter on Human and people’s rights, 19 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The Uganda Communication Commission is mandated to respect the constitution and other international legal frameworks by upholding and respecting the human rights of all citizens. The rule of law should prevail and therefore want court to bring UCC to order and end this impunity,” Says, Dorothy Mukasa, the Unwanted Witness Chief Executive Officer.

She said profiling of online publishers does not only violate fundamental human rights but also stifles independent media, investigative journalism and general free flow of information which has a chilling effect on the national democracy.

Mukasa emphasized that the court’s intervention to enforce the enjoyment of online fundamental freedoms and rights is timely not only as a tool for safeguarding journalists’ digital rights but also as a mechanism for upholding good governance, transparency and accountability.

Unwanted witness Uganda is a civil society organization that advocates for open, secure and accessible Internet that contributes to the realization of human rights and good governance in Uganda.

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