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Ugandan TikToker Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Insulting Pres. Museveni



A 24-year-old Ugandan TikToker, Edward Awebwa, has been sentenced to six years in prison for using the social media platform to spread hate speech and false information against President Yoweri Museveni and his family.

Awebwa, who ran the account “Save Media Uganda,” was arrested for posting a video insulting the president, his wife, and son.

The Entebbe Chief Magistrate Court’s Chief Magistrate, Stellah-Maris Amabilisi, delivered the sentence on Wednesday. According to Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire, Awebwa shared videos mocking the president between February and March 2024.

This sentencing is part of a broader campaign by security agencies against people using social media to insult senior government officials.

Awebwa is one of several content creators jailed under the Computer Misuse Act of 2022 for spreading “malicious information” and “hate speech.” Human rights activists have challenged this law in the Constitutional Court, calling it 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.” The offence can result in a fine, up to one year in prison, or both.

This sentence has sparked concerns about freedom of speech and the use of social media in Uganda.

Awebwa’s arrest and sentencing are seen as a warning to others who use social media to criticize the government or its officials.

The Ugandan government has been accused of using the Computer Misuse Act to silence its critics and suppress dissenting voices.

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In a related development, Malawian man was recently convicted of insulting the president in a TikTok video, highlighting a growing trend of African governments cracking down on social media users who express dissenting opinions.

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