The London office of U.S.-based PR giant Hill & Knowlton signed a $600,000 contract with the government of Uganda, "to improve Uganda's stained reputation as a human rights abuser and democracy laggard." Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa confirmed the contract, which calls for Hill & Knowlton "to improve Uganda's image with donors and to help blunt damaging reports from human rights watchdogs that have been highly critical of the government." In Uganda, political activity is "restricted" and planned elections in 2006 "have been overshadowed by a controversial bid to amend the constitution so President Yoweri Museveni can stand for a third term." Reports by the New York-based organization Human Rights Watch have "documented recent cases of torture by Ugandan security forces against political opponents, alleged rebels and criminal suspects."
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