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HRD Attack

25 May 2021

Federica Marsi

Incident date
25 May 2021
Date accuracy
All Correct
Federica Marsi
Press; media
Arbitrary detention
Target: Individual
Location of Incident: Uganda
TotalEnergies (formerly Total) France Oil, gas & coal, Energy
Other actors


Italian journalist Federica Marsi has written numerous articles on social and environmental issues for news outlets such as Al Jazeera and The New Humanitarian. She focuses her work on conflict, migration and the effects of environmental degradation on social conditions and public health. She was arrested on Tuesday 25 May 2021 in Buliisa, in the oil region of Uganda, together with Maxwell Atuhura, a member of the NGOs AFIEGO and NAVODA. She was writing an article on Total’s oil developments in Uganda. She had been interviewing community members, whose right to land and livelihoods have been affected by large-scale relocation programs to make way for the oil projects. At the time of the arrest, Marsi and Atuhura were about to meet with local community members to discuss the impacts that Total’s Tilenga oil project had on them. They were reportedly taken to the police station without being given any reason for their arrests and allegedly threatened while interrogated. Federica Marsi was released relatively shortly after her arrest, reportedly on the condition she would leave the oil region “before bad things happen”, but she was arrested again a few hours later in Biso, as she was trying to leave the area in a taxi. She eventually managed to leave the oil region and arrived in Kampala late in the evening. Maxwell Atuhura spent few days in custody.