21 Jan 2016

NZ photographer Geoff Walker released from Ugandan jail

8:08 am on 21 January 2016

A New Zealand photographer arrested in Uganda is out of jail after spending about 14 hours in a small concrete cell.

Geoff Walker, from Wairarapa, is known for his graphic pictures of the Carterton balloon crash that killed 11 people in 2012.

Geoff Walker

Geoff Walker Photo: FACEBOOK

Mr Walker said he had been out taking pictures when a group of army personnel came running towards him saying he could not take pictures of a barracks.

But he said he had not realised, as he took pictures of a sunset, that the building in the background was a barracks.

"I jumped back on the motorcycle and these army people came running out and they said 'you're not allowed to take photos of our barracks.'

"And I said 'sorry I didnt realise it was barracks,' there were no fences, no signs, no nothing."

He said luckily he was kept in a new police station, but it was still about 14 hours in a small concrete room with six other people.

"A lot of things go through your mind, this is like a movie, all these sorts of things, how long could I be here? What sort of things are going to go on, not having any watch or idea of time or the procedures that are going to happen. There wasn't a lot of talking at all.

"I wouldn't say I was scared, in fact I was smiling a lot and I was confident it was going to work out."

Mr Walker said he thought a lot of things happened behind the scenes to get him out of jail so quickly.

He said the Ugandan people had treated him very well.

"The people have been really great, they've really cared, they've really looked after me very well."