In May this year the Ugandan Police raided the offices of the Daily Monitor a respected Ugandan newspaper was raided by the Police and shut down for a few days because its editors had published something that government didn’t want in the public domain. As you can imagine there was outrage both in Uganda and within the international community as evidenced in these articles from The Guardian , the BBC and The Independent
The situation in Uganda led to protest on the streets on Kampala the capital of Uganda followed by heavy crack down by the police as well as the self imposed exile of the general at the centre of the row
Fast forward to Sunday 18 August and journalists at The Guardian here in the UK faces the same predicament.
We learned that the UK government detained David Miranda a partner of a Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald for 9 hours whilst in transit at London Heathrow on suspcision that he might be carrying something that teh governemnt would rather not see in the public domain. In addition that the paper’s London offices had a visit from the UK Government Communications headquaters who stood over the papers staff as they destroyed material that the government didnot want in the public domain.
This has caused national and international outrage and condemnation and the days ahead will be interesting as the story unfolds further
I don’t need to spell out the similarities in the story of these two papers
Both the Ugandan and UK governments have argued that the actions of the journalists have threatened national security whilst the journalists’s position is that the information they hold is of interest to the citizens and should be in the public domain.
The question is who is right?
Are we as citizens happy to see journalists’s freedoms infringed by governments in our name?
Are journalists in fact compromising our security in order to sell their papers?
What is the future of journalism?
What about human rights?
Is the neoliberal ideal of limited state a myth?
In the new era of increased non state actors (terrorists and religious fundamentalists) states have moved to reclaim their power in order to fight off these new threats and under that guise it would not surprise me if we the publics increasingly lost our rights and freedoms. it also seems to me we are going to have to make some tough choices, such as choosing between, privacy, security, individual freedoms and rights.
I would be interested in your views on these matters