Police reiterate warning against ‘fake’ propaganda after ‘Ashberg Kato torture image’

POLITICS | Police have rubbished the latest images circulating on social media purportedly showing brutalised political activist Ashburg Kato, saying it is “fake and a major propaganda tool.”

“We would like to inform the public that the gruesome photo of a tortured male, with open wounds on the back, that has gone viral with the claim that it is Ashburg Kato who is alleged to have gone missing on April 30, is fake and a major propaganda tool,” Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said in a statement.

The strongly worded rebuttal comes days after the Force warned the public to be wary of falling for negative propaganda that it said was currently being amplified against the force by political activists who use fake images to “discredit the image of Police.”

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“It is very disheartening to see such photos and we want to ask all political actors to adopt strategies that are holistic and consistent with mature politics,” the statement said.

Police said the latest image circulating with claims that it is of Ashburg Kato has been established to be of a black man tortured in an informal Libyan slave market.

“We strongly condemn the circulation of the photo which is an online smear campaign, that is well coordinated to put the reputation of police and sister security agencies in disrepute,” Enanga said.

He urged the public to know that “these are tactics being used by selected political actors to make it appear like there is a breakdown on rule of law in the country.”

The propaganda, the Police publicist added, is to portray the human rights situation in negative light had targeted the police.

He said Ashburg Kato resurfaced on Tuesday against claims that he was tortured to near death.

“We do encourage the victim together with relatives and friends to register a complaint clearly indicating circumstances under which he initially disappeared and resurfaced for better leads to the investigating team,” Enanga added.

“We want to advise members of the public to ignore the narrative that wrongly accused the police and delete it.”

Police said its cyber-crime unit would proceed with tracking down the perpetrators who uploaded and circulated the fake photos and bring them to book.

Ashburg Kato has been Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine and his People Power pressure group’s self-appointed social media handler and spokesperson.

However, Bobi Wine on Tuesday announced the appointment of a suave and better organised journalist Joel Ssenyonyi, formerly NTV news anchor and producer, as his official spokesperson.

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