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Ugandan TikToker jailed 6 years for insulting president, his family

Edward Awebwa, a 24-year-old Ugandan man, has been sentenced to six years in prison for using his TikTok account to spread hate speech and insults against President Yoweri Museveni, First Lady Janet Museveni, and their son.

Anadolu Agency AFRICA
Published July 11,2024

A 24-year-old Ugandan man has been sentenced to six years in prison for using his TikTok account to spread hate speech and malicious information against President Yoweri Museveni, first lady Janet Museveni and their son.

Entebbe Chief Magistrate Court's Presiding Chief Magistrate, Stellah-Maris Amabilisi, delivered the sentence Wednesday following the arrest of Edward Awebwa, who used his account under the name "Save Media Uganda" to share a video clip in which he hurled insults against the first family.

According to Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire, between February and March 2024, Awebwa used TikTok to share information ridiculing the president.

His imprisonment comes in the wake of a sustained campaign by security agencies targeting individuals who use social media to insult senior government officials.

Awebwa joins a list of content creators who have been jailed for spreading "malicious information" and "hate speech" under the Computer Misuse Act of 2022, which criminalized some internet activities despite concerns that the law could curtail online freedom of expression.

Human rights activists challenged the law in the Constitutional Court, arguing that it was repressive.

The law on computer misuse defines offensive communication as the "willful and repeated use of electronic communication to disturb or attempt to disturb the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues."

The offence is punishable by a fine or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.