World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Uganda: Opposition Leader Arrested

Uganda: Opposition Leader Arrested

Authorities Must Exercise Restraint in Responding to Protests

Uganda’s leading opposition politician and presidential candidate, Dr. Kiiza Besigye, should be promptly granted bail and provided with a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today.

Besigye was arrested in Kampala on Monday on capital charges: treason for his alleged ties to Ugandan rebel groups and rape for an incident that allegedly occurred in 1997.

As the leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, Besigye is widely believed to pose the greatest challenge to the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni in elections scheduled for March. Three weeks ago, Besigye returned to Uganda after four years in exile in South Africa. In Kampala as well as northern and western Uganda, he was greeted by enthusiastic crowds.

“It’s up to the Uganda government to demonstrate that Besigye’s arrest is not politically motivated,” said Jemera Rone, Uganda researcher at Human Rights Watch. “If the government denies him bail, it will reinforce the perception that it has pressed capital charges against him to prevent him from campaigning for president.”

Uganda’s harsh law on bail provides that suspects preliminarily charged with a capital offense may be held in detention for 360 days before they are entitled to bail. These provisions are inconsistent with Uganda’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states, “It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial.”

“The principle of innocent until proven guilty is of vital importance in this politically charged environment,” said Rone. “The security services must respect the right of Ugandans to protest this arrest.”

Human Rights Watch called on the Ugandan authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with the people protesting Kiiza Besigye’s arrest. It also called on the political parties and other supporters of Besigye to do all they can to prevent acts of violence by those protesting the arrest.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news