World Press Day: Speaker Among Reaffirms Parliament’s Commitment to Protecting Freedom of Expression

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The speaker of Parliament, Anita Annet Among, has assured journalists of Parliament’s commitment to ensuring freedom of speech in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day.

Speaker Among, who was speaking during plenary on May 3, 2024, said that Parliament has joined the rest of the world to raise awareness on the importance of freedom of the press and remind the government of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression, which is enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

She added that these principles are adequately domesticated in Article 29 of the 1995 Constitution.

Article 29 of Uganda’s constitution gives every person the freedoms of speech and expression, as well as the freedom to publicly assemble and demonstrate in a peaceful manner.

However, she asked that all journalists ensure that Article 29 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression in Uganda, isn’t abused.

“I take this opportunity to reiterate Parliament’s commitment to protecting freedom of expression, and that is why you see we have so many journalists in this House, and you should ensure that Article isn’t abused. I wish the entire Fourth Estate a pleasant celebration of World Press Freedom Day,” Speaker Among remarked.

She further said that upholding media freedom is crucial to fostering a vibrant democracy.

“On this World Press Freedom Day, I want to reaffirm our commitment to supporting the invaluable work of journalists in ensuring transparency, accountability, and, most importantly, accuracy. I wish all journalists a happy Press Freedom Day,” she stated.

Themed “Journalism is the Face of the Environmental Crisis,” Speaker Among says that the theme coincides with the various environmental changes that have affected so many areas, especially in East Africa and Eastern Uganda, in the recent past.

With various East African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda experiencing one of the worst floods, journalists say that they are at the forefront with their pens as powerful weapons for change.

Journalists say that through their reporting, they hope to shine a light on environmental injustices and also inspire action and demand accountability from those in power.

World Press Day was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in 1933 and is observed every May 3rd to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to those journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty.

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