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Stella Nyanzi loses bid to block cyber harassment trial

By Farooq Kasule

Added 15th February 2019 05:31 PM

The former Makerere University researcher is charged with two counts of offensive communication and cyber harassment

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The former Makerere University researcher is charged with two counts of offensive communication and cyber harassment

The Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court on Friday dismissed an application in which former Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi sought to block her trial arguing that the charges against her are defective.

While dismissing the application, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu noted that the charges were read out to Nyanzi in her preferred language and she entered a plea which meant that she understood them.

yanzi consults with her lawyer saac semakadde under the watchful eye of a prison warder hoto by arook asuleNyanzi consults with her lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde under the watchful eye of a prison warder. Photo by Farook Kasule

Prosecution led by Janat Kitimbo alleges that on September 16, 2018, Nyanzi posted indecent words against the president and his late mother on her Facebook wall.

According to the prosecution, the posts were intended to disturb their peace, quiet and right to privacy.

Nyanzi, a mother of three has been on remand since November last year. She also suffered a miscarriage early this month while on remand.

Under the law, any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.

In regard to cyber harassment, a person who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly uses electronic communication to harass another person and makes a threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or to a member of that person’s immediate family commits the crime of cyberstalking and is liable to a fine or imprisonment term not exceeding five years or both.

 

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