Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Ugandan Man Sentenced to Six Years for Hate Speech Against President on TikTok

A 24-year-old Ugandan man, Edward Awebwa, has been sentenced to six years in prison for using TikTok to spread hate speech and false information against President Yoweri Museveni and the entire first family. The sentence was delivered on Wednesday by Chief Magistrate Stellah-Maris Amabilisi at the Entebbe Chief Magistrate Court.

Awebwa, who operated the TikTok account “Save Media Uganda,” was arrested for posting a video that insulted the president, his wife, and his son. Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire noted that Awebwa shared these mocking videos between February and March 2024.

This sentencing is part of a broader campaign by Ugandan security agencies against individuals using social media to insult senior government officials. Awebwa is one of several content creators jailed under the Computer Misuse Act of 2022 for disseminating “malicious information” and “hate speech.” Human rights activists have challenged this law in the Constitutional Court, arguing that it is repressive.

The Computer Misuse Act 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.” Offenders can face a fine, up to one year in prison, or both.

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