Bobi Wine

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Bobi Wine is detained by riot police during an anti-government demonstration in Kampala on 15 March 2021. Photograph: Abubaker Lubowa/Reuters

Uganda is experiencing its worst wave of political oppression in decades. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of supporters of opposition parties to President General Yoweri Museveni have been abducted, detained and tortured in recent months. Like many, I bear the scars of the baton, have felt the sting of teargas and endured unlawful detention. But I know that this is not personal. It isn’t about me.

Many others, whose only offence is to exercise constitutionally entrenched rights and freedoms, have been clobbered, abducted, tortured and put on show trial. The atrocities are numerous: the unresolved carnage of the Kayunga shootings in 2009 that saw 40 left dead, the massacres in Rwenzururu where police and military killed more than 150, or the November 2020 killings in which more than 50 protesters lost their lives.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ugandan police detaining the academic Stella Nyanzi for protesting against the way that government distributes the relief food and the lockdown situation to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kampala, Uganda, in May. Credit Reuters

Brutal policing is a global crisis, but America’s favorite African strongman, Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s president since 1986, has deployed his own security forces to a particularly malign end: assaulting opposition parliamentary lawmakers to crush the democratic challenge he is facing.

I speak from experience. I am a member of Uganda’s Parliament and also a musician, activist and founder of the opposition People Power movement. For the past three years, we have been seeking social, economic and political change with the support of Uganda’s youth — 80 percent of the population — who face dire poverty.

On April 19, my colleague Francis Zaake, a 29-year-old member of Parliament, was arrested and tortured.…  Seguir leyendo »