KTN Kenya journalist Joy Doreen Biira on Sunday, November 27 was arrested after she posted about clashes between police and militia in Western Uganda.
The violence has claimed 55 lives so far, and Biira, who was in Uganda for her traditional wedding, posted about the clashes on social media.
“It’s so sad what I’ve witnessed today with my own eyes…part of the palace of the Kingdom I’m from, the Rwenzururu kingdom, burning down. It felt like watching your heritage deplete before my eyes,” she posted, adding: “Where did it all go wrong? Why the killings? Why the rage? Why the stubbornness? Why the ignorance? Why the thirst for bloodshed?”
After the post, Joy Doreen Biira was arrested, with security sources saying she ‘misbehaved’ by posting content about clashes on social media.
Shortly after the new broke, Kenyans and Ugandans took to social media to demand her immediate release.
@Ben_Kitilli wrote…The impunity of the Ugandan govt is appalling. Arresting & whisking its own citizens away without explanation. Not this time #FreeJoyDoreen
@zubeidahkananu wrote…A journalist’s job is to Inform, that’s not a crime….., @JoyDoreenBiira is not a criminal … #FreeJoyDoreen
@Lorenzobishop wrote…Oppressing free speech & levels of insanity in every East African state’s leadership must be fought together #FreeJoyDoreen
@Machukah wrote..I feel like crying ???? @JoyDoreenBiira is going through a very painful moment. Let’s prayer for her. #FreeJoyDoreen
@LeonLidigu wrote…Seems Ugandan Police want to experience #KOT @JoyDoreenBiira must be released immediately #FreeJoyDoreen
@Carol_Oyola wrote…Praying for @JoyDoreenBiira’s safe release. This is outrageous! #FreeJoyDoreen
As the day wore on, sections of Ugandan social media users reported that Joy Doreen Biira has been released. Uganda’s National Broadcasting Service (NBS) has however clarified that the journalist is still in police custody.
“Correction: Journalist Joy Doreen Biira has not be released but rather she has left Kasese Police Station in a police vehicle,” they posted on social media.