The Lira District Wetlands Officer, Fabius Otike, wants the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to officially challenge a law that prohibits ordinary citizens from taking pictures of prisoners without the permission of the Commissioner of Prisons.
Otike claims he was assaulted by inmates of Lira Central Prison after he attempted to take pictures of them draining a wetland. He alleges the prisoners were hired by one Sister Fortunate of Ngetta Catholic Mission to drain Okole wetland. It is not clear what the Mission intendeds to do with the reclaimed land.
Otike says he wanted to use the pictures of the prisoners as evidence of degradation of the wetlands. He says that although he officially introduced himself to the prisons authorities, they set a gang of prisoners on him who beat him up and almost stripped him naked.
The officer-in-charge of Lira Central Prison, Raphael Olinga, maintains that Otike was not assaulted. He says he was merely arrested for breaking the law.
Otike wants NEMA to seek a court order suspending Chapter 26 of the Prison Standing Orders which prohibit taking photos of prisoners until he completes investigations into the alleged draining of Okole wetland.
ngetta catholic mission