Assaulted Ghetto TV journalist Ashraf Kasirye withdraws case against gov’t

Assaulted Ghetto TV journalist Ashraf Kasirye withdraws case against gov't
Ashraf Kasirye

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Assaulted Ghetto TV journalist Ashraf Kasirye has withdrawn his case against the government in which he was seeking compensation for damages caused to him during the just concluded elections.

Kasirye who initially wanted to be compensated with an unspecified amount of money has today withdrawn his case against the Attorney General filed before the civil division of High court on grounds that he is in a bad state.

The court presided over by lady justice Esta Nambayo heard from Kasirye’s lawyer, John Mpambale that their client is in a bad state and as such he intended to discontinue the matter. The records indicate that in line with that submission, Mpambale asked court to allow them to withdraw the case.

State attorney Allan Mukama also did not have any objection to the withdrawal. Accordingly, justice Nambayo allowed the withdrawal with no cost awarded to either party. The case which Kasirye has withdrawn was filed on December 3, 2020, challenging the decision by the police to forcefully remove him from National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu’s car, pepper-sprayed before he was assaulted when he was doing his journalistic duties during the election campaigns.

The assaulted Ghetto TV journalist Ashraf Kasirye had told court that this scenario which subjected him to inhumane and degrading treatment occurred on November 18, 2020, in Luuka district. He accordingly asked court to be compensated for his damaged property as his constitutional rights and freedoms were being violated. 

Kasirye asked court to issue a permanent injunction restraining the Uganda Police Force from infringement on his right to property, freedom of the press, right to practice a profession and the right against torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Justice Nambayo had in the previous session held on March 11, 2021, allowed Kasirye’s lawyers led by Augustine Akineza to file additional allegations against the government. This is because in that session, the lawyers had told court that their client was again badly assaulted on December 27, 2020, as Kyagulanyi was heading to Lwengo district also for his presidential campaigns.

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Kasirye is said to have been shot on the head and sustained injuries that saw him admitted to Lubaga hospital for a many days. His lawyers had previously said that Kasirye spent more than Shs 50 million in medical bills and he had apparently lost his vision and ability to hear properly in a noisy environment.

The record before court also shows that the government through their state attorney Charity Nabasa had earlier this morning filed an affidavit asking for the dismissal of Kasirye’s case with costs. Nabasa says in her affidavit that Kasirye’s application is misconceived, incompetent, lacks merit and amounts to an abuse of court process.

”I know that the applicant’s actions on the 18th day of November 2020 interfered with police in the lawful execution of their duties and amounted to obstruction of justice,” reads the affidavit in part.

It adds that the government intended to raise an objection to prove that Kasirye’s application raised no single issue of enforcement of his rights and he didn’t adduce any evidence to show that his rights were violated by the Attorney General’s agents.