East Africa Law Society condemns arrest and prolonged detention of Ugandan perpetrator | New times

The East Africa Law Society (EALS), a regional bar association that oversees bars, issued a statement on Saturday (January 8th) “strongly condemning” the violation of the rights of Ugandan author and human rights activist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija.

It comes shortly after reports indicated that Eva Basima, the wife of Rukirabashaija, who was detained three days after Christmas, took legal action against the country’s police chiefs – demanding that she be able to to see him.

The EALS noted that over the past week, human rights actors in Uganda, East Africa and around the world have relentlessly called for the release of the award-winning writer who was reportedly picked up. at his residence in Kisaasi, a suburb of Kampala, on December 28. 2021.

“He has been held incommunicado beyond the 48 hours provided for by Ugandan law. A court order for his unconditional release obtained on January 4, 2022 has not been respected to date, ”the statement said.

“The East Africa Law Society strongly condemns the violation of its rights as guaranteed by the Ugandan Constitution and several international instruments to which Uganda is a party, in particular the Treaty establishing the East African Community which binds member countries to ensure respect for human rights and respect for the rule of law (article 6 (d) and article 7 (2) ”.

More importantly, it is noted, EALS strongly condemns the continued disregard for the court order made in this case.

“Respect for court decisions is at the heart of all legal systems and the cornerstone of the rule of law. We urge the Ugandan government to respect the court order and grant Mr. Rukirabashaija constitutionally guaranteed due process.

On Tuesday, a court ordered police to release Rukirabashaija unconditionally, but he remains in detention.

His wife, as Ugandan media reported, lodged a complaint against the head of the Special Forces Command (SFC) and the Inspector General of Police. She says she has not seen her husband, a critic of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, since he was arrested by heavily armed special forces agents at their home.

The SFC is an elite force that protects the President of Uganda and has previously been linked to torture and other human rights violations against people perceived to be opponents of President Museveni of Uganda.

Robert Kyagulanyi, leader of the opposition and singer better known by his stage name Bobi Wine, has declared that failure to release the author constitutes a crime against humanity.

Police accuse Rukirabashaija of using social media to “abuse and demean” the president and his son, Lieutenant-General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, commander of the Ugandan People’s Defense Force’s land forces.

Rukirabashaija won the International Writer of Courage award from the Pen Pinter Award last year

He is best known for The Greedy Barbarian, a satirical novel that describes high-level corruption in a fictional country, and Banana Republic: Where Writing is Treasonous, an account of the tortures he was subjected to while in detention in 2020.

Ugandan police routinely ignore court orders and often re-arrest suspects released on bail.

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