East Africa Law Society threatens legal action over Uganda elections violence

The regional law bar calls on Museveni Administration to forestall further human rights violations


Uganda police disperse crowds in Kayunga Town as they gather to welcome presidential contender Robert Kyagulanyi on December 1, 2020. Opposition supporters are routinely beaten, teargassed and arrested. PHOTO | AFP

MONDAY January 11, 2021 

The East African

The East Africa Law Society (EALS), a regional law forum, has condemned the human rights violations being committed against lawyers, journalists, political activists and the public in Uganda ahead of the country’s January 14 polls.

In a statement issued on Thursday and signed off by law society presidents from Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Zanzibar and Kenya, the EALS threatened court action should Ugandan officials, including the president, Attorney General, military and police leadership, fail to forestall further human rights violations and violence.

“Together with our national bar members and other partners across the region and globally, we are monitoring the situation in the Republic of Uganda and collecting crucial evidence that will enable us to institute actions against these acts that violate the EAC Treaty,” reads the statement.

Uganda is currently experiencing one of the most violent electoral seasons in decades characterised by mass arrests, deaths and disenfranchisement of opposition candidates.

Uganda’s National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine was arrested on December 30, 2020. PHOTO | NMG FILE

In November, 54 people were killed by security forces after sporadic protests broke out in Kampala and other urban areas following the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine for flouting electoral guidelines instituted to curb the spread of the coronavirus when he held a public rally in Eastern Uganda. Opposition doubts this number and puts it at over 100.

Over 800 people have so far been arrested following the protests.

The East African is a weekly newspaper published in Kenya by the Nation Media Group, which also publishes Kenya’s national Daily Nation

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