Musician-turned-politician-turned-political-prisoner Bobi Wine has received the support of major names in music from across Africa and Europe in an open letter published this week. The letter—signed by the likes of Femi Kuti, Peter Gabriel, Angélique Kidjo, and Chris Martin, among dozens more—strongly condemns the Ugandan government for its arrest, trial without due process, and violent treatment of Bobi Wine and the roughly thirty other detainees arrested in Arua last week.
We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the arrest, imprisonment and vicious, life-threatening physical attack by Ugandan government forces on popular Ugandan singer and Member of Parliament, the Honourable Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a.k.a Bobi Wine. We also condemn the unprovoked killing of his driver, Yasin Kawuma as well as the beating and arrest of three other opposition Members of Parliament.
We call upon the Ugandan government to ensure his full access to medical treatment, to allow a full and impartial investigation of his violent arrest and imprisonment and of the brutal killing of Yasin Kawuma, and to follow internationally recognised procedures and safeguards in proceeding with any case against him.
We pledge to remain vigilant about his ongoing detention and to use our voices and networks at the local, regional and international levels to raise awareness about his case, to press for his immediate and unconditional release, and for an end to this and other acts of political repression and violence in Uganda.