Uganda - October 2022
President Museveni signs law further curtailing freedom of expression online
On 13 October Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill that rights and media organizations have said further restricts freedom of expression online and is likely to be weaponized against journalists and government critics. In vaguely worded terms, the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act 2022 criminalizes “hate speech” and the sharing of “unsolicited information”. Those convicted under the law face prison sentences of up to seven years, fines of up to 15 million Ugandan shillings and (significantly for political opponents) are barred from holding public office for up to 10 years. Non-governmental organizations, Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists, noted that prior to this amendment, pre-existing provisions within the Computer Misuse Act 2011 have been used by Museveni’s government to prosecute its critics and journalists.