The following press release was distributed to media today.
LONDON, 15 December 2018 – Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a Ugandan member of parliament best known as “Bobi Wine,” has been forced to seek refuge from an unlawful midnight raid by police which has seen many of his supporters and colleagues swept up and detained while others were reportedly beaten, says lawyer Robert Amsterdam.
According to Amsterdam, who has been communicating with Bobi Wine while he has temporarily sought refuge, these raids took place after nightfall in Jinja, Uganda, where a concert was to take place the following day along with numerous other musicians. Ugandan police have reportedly stormed the hotel where they were staying and detained dozens, while then conducting a neighborhood-wide manhunt with the objective of unlawfully capturing Mr. Kyagulanyi, though there has been no stated cause or charge against him.
“This is a clear and brazen act of targeted political repression by the Uganda authorities aimed at violating Bobi Wine’s human rights,” said Amsterdam. “Once again, Bobi Wine has broken no law, the concert was fully and legally permitted, and the other participating musicians were not targeted.”
Amsterdam says that the latest attempt to arrest Bobi Wine for no reason is clearly reminiscent of the events of this past August 14, when the Kyadondo East MP and many others were brutally arrested, jailed, and subjected to extensive torture by agents of the Special Forces Command (SFC).
“The use of violence and intimidation by the Government of Uganda against peaceful, law-abiding citizens is carried out with the clear intention of repressing their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression,” says Amsterdam. “We are going to be rigorously documenting every unlawful act and violation of rights by members of the police and their superiors and will seek to hold them accountable before every available international forum. The highest authorities have an urgent responsibility to halt this deplorable persecution without delay.”
More information on the background of Uganda’s attacks against Bobi Wine and further updates to the current situation will be published on https://bobiwine.com.