US Congressman Brad Sherman of California has sent a formal letter to Ugandan Ambassador in Washington Mull Ssebujja Katende, calling for the immediate release of Bobi Wine and those arrested alongside him. Rep. Sherman calls on Kampala to “settle its political disagreements within the bounds of democracy.”
Demonstrations calling for Kyagulanyi’s release have erupted around the country. They have been met with violence from state police and security forces, who fired tear gas and use live ammunition on demonstrators. Reports have surfaced that 68 protesters have been arrested during the demonstrations as President Museveni has said, in order to “send a warning to those who are in the habit of miscalculating.”
I am aware that tensions have run high in the country since a bill was passed in December 2017 allowing for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the presidential age limit, essentially granting President Museveni the ability to hold his position for the remainder of his lifetime. Kyagulanyi has stood as one of the most vocal opponents to the constitutional amendment.
I urge the government of Uganda to immediately release Mr. Kyagulanyi and his colleagues, who are being held and tortured under false charges. I call for a thorough investigation into the death of Mr. Kawuma and beating of Hon. Francis Zaake. I call for the release of those demonstrators that exercised the basic human right of assembly and freedom of expression. I call on the government of Uganda and President Museveni to resolve such matters within the bounds of democracy and uphold those principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.