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France-based media group petition Museveni to re-visit Terrorism Bill

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th March 2002 03:00 AM

AN international media organisation based in France, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the Terrorism Bill until it has been revisited.

AN international media organisation based in France, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the Terrorism Bill until it has been revisited.

By John Kakande AN international media organisation based in France, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the Terrorism Bill until it has been revisited. Reporters Without Borders is strongly opposed to clauses in the Terrorism Bill that impose a death penalty on any person who publishes news or other materials that promote terrorism. The Bill originally provided that a person who publishes news promoting terrorism shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years. But Parliament on the recommendation of the legal affairs committee, recently amended the Bill which originally made the offender liable to a death penalty. RSF has posted an ‘alert’ on the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) clearing house website warning about the potential danger posed to the journalists by the Terrorism Bill. IFEX is based in Toronto, Canada. According to a statement sent to the New Vision yesterday from Paris, the RSF secretary general, Robert Ménard, wrote to the President this week calling for the revision of the Bill to remove the potentially dangerous clauses. “This vague charge could be used against journalists who are too critical of the authorities,” Ménard said. He added, “The law must be made clearer to avoid future abuses.” Parliament passed the Terrorism Bill on March 20 amidst protests mainly from the opposition MPs. Under the Bill, the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Lord’s Resistance Movement, the Allied Democratic Forces and the Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network were condemned as terrorist organisations. The Bill also seeks to give the High Court “extra-territorial jurisdiction” to try any offence relating to terrorism committed anywhere.

France-based media group petition Museveni to re-visit Terrorism Bill

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