PRESS STATEMENT

Kampala, 16/October/2015, Unwanted Witness Uganda is welcoming the new investigative report revealing the government of Uganda’s grand ambitions of secret surveillance. The report released by Privacy International in UK titled “For God and My President” highlights the various actions that were undertaken by the various security agencies to install and infiltrate communication devices of activists, opposition politicians, journalists and media houses among others in breach of their right to privacy.

The report is contributing to Unwanted Witness’s earlier findings on the government’s continuous infringement on citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms especially the right to privacy in communication published in a report titled “The internet: they are coming for it too.”

The Unwanted Witness is in total support of the findings by Privacy International (PI) report. We are aware there is likely to be more surveillance equipment in Uganda with some being supplied by China.” Said, Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala, the Unwanted Witness Chief Executive Officer He noted that the Unwanted Witness Uganda has for the last two years been monitoring government’s intrusion on citizens’ privacy both online and offline, and training security agencies capacity to use these new technologies and highlighting key issues of concern including;

1. The secretive signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Uganda Police Force and Uganda Communications Commission on sharing of information for internet users ahead of elections.

2. Establishment of the Internet monitoring units within major security organs in the country. Also, the setting us of the cyber crime unit in the Uganda Police were recorded whose target is to find charges against Internet users who are critical to the establishment.

3.The 200 billion shillings’ supplementary budget requested by state house to purchase surveillance equipment among others. The Unwanted Witness Uganda notes with concern that all this seems to be leading to what is termed as fear by government and is now resorting to becoming an authoritarian regime with total disregard of the constitution and International human rights laws. 
The Unwanted Witness therefore demands the following;
1.Government should come out clearly to explain why they are deploying surveillance equipment to spy on citizens.

2. Parliament should consider reviewing and amending cyber laws that seem to be used to violate the constitution but at the same time infringe on citizens’ rights and freedoms.

3. Parliament should also undertake an investigative audit of the extent of surveillance in Uganda with a view of providing oversight to such agencies of government   To read the Privacy International Report Click Here

For more Information contact,

THE UNWANTED WITNESS – Uganda
Plot 41 Gadaffi Road, Makerere- Kampala
P.O. Box 71314 Clock Tower K’la
Telephone: +256 414 697 635
Email:         info@unwantedwitness.or.ug
Website:   www.unwantedwitness.or.ug
Skype:       unwantedwitness
Twitter:    @unwantedwitness
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