More than 100 human rights advocate, activists and musicians from across the world have called on the African Union, US, UK, EU and all people of conscience to condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing assault on Uganda’s opposition and commit to supporting a safe free and fair election for all Ugandan citizens.
The rights advocates and activists, as well as a former President of Ireland, aired their views in a press release titled “Please Help Bobi Wine and the People of Uganda Urge the International Community to Play an Active Role Calling on The Uganda Government to Hold Free and Fair Elections Without Intimidation and Violence.
The individuals who described themselves as Friends of the Republic of Uganda include, a former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, South African human rights activist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, Femi Falana, Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics, Jonathan Rosenhead, Henry Louis Gates of Harvard University and host of others.
Uganda on Thursday held it’s presidential and parliamentary elections and as expected oppositions are already alleging the poll was anything but free and fair with many claiming widespread fraud and violence during the election.
“President Museveni, who has enjoyed strong Western backing for 35 years-and tens of billions of dollars in military and financial assistance– is contesting his 6th term in office,” the statement read.
“His main presidential challenger, musician/legislator, Robert Kyagulanyi MP, better known as Bobi Wine, as well as another opposition candidate Patrick Amuriat, have both been repeatedly arrested by security forces, and scores, perhaps hundreds of their supporters have been tortured and killed.
“Thousands of other opposition supporters are detained, many without access to lawyers, doctors or their families. On December 30, Wine’s entire entourage-security detail, media team and medical team were arrested. Some of them, all previously in good health, appeared in court on Monday, limping from injuries sustained while in police custody.
“They were given bail but have not been released. Since then, with a fresh team, Bobi continued his campaign. That team, as well, have all been arrested.
“Wine’s campaign, in particular, has reached nearly every corner of the country, where massive crowds have braved teargas and bullets to cheer on his candidacy. But every mile of that journey has been fraught with danger.
“In November, demonstrations broke out across Uganda when Wine was detained for two days incommunicado, supposedly for violating COVID 19 regulations. The last time he’d been so detained, in 2018, he’d emerged on crutches.
“In response to the public outcry, Museveni deployed his private army, known as the Special Forces Command to “restore order”. At least 54 demonstrators and bystanders, including children, were gunned down and killed, and scores of others were severely injured. This is Museveni’s “democracy” that carried him victoriously through multiple elections over 35 years.
“Bobi still ventures forth to meet his constituents, following the itinerary provided by the Electoral Commission. But with his entire security team in detention, his only security is international media coverage, shining a harsh light on the regime’s excessive use of brutal force. Museveni claims Bobi’s support comes only from “foreign homosexuals” The world is watching.”