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General News of Friday, 24 August 2018

Source: Prince Akpah

Africans rising for justice, peace & dignity calls for release of activists in Uganda & Mauritania

Tyranny has once again hit our continent with the arrest of activists and Human Rights Defenders in Uganda and Mauritania.

In Uganda, 2 opposition Members of Parliament: Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) and Francis Zaake were arrested. Robert Kyagulanyi, widely known as Bobi Wine whose driver Robert Kyagulanyi was shot dead on the of his arrest is charged with treason. Security officers who work for the government claim they found unregistered firearms in the hotel room of Robert Kyagulanyi which the management of the hotel has contradicted.

The arbitrary arrest of Bobbi Wine sparked series on protests in Uganda which were severely repressed by security forces and according to our sources at least 112 people have been arrested and over two dozens have lost their lives.

Even though the whereabouts of the arrested individuals are not known to the public, Asuman Basalirwa, lawyer to Bobbi Wine, has confirmed meeting his client and stating that he has been beaten up sustaining serious injuries to the head and body.

Amnesty International has issued several statements through their Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki stating, “The Ugandan authorities must not attempt to intimidate the opposition by dragging these MPs through the military court system, which does not have the competence to try civilians.”

We as Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity are calling on the state to respect the freedom of association and speech of the citizens of Uganda, to follow due process of law and to release all political prisoners.

In other unfolding events in Mauritania, renowned anti-slavery activist and opposition leader Biram Dah Abeid together was arrested along with two Mauritanian journalists just a few days after registering to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held in September. Biram Dah Abeid who has been arrested multiple times, detained for years and condemned to death for standing against slavery in Mauritania where over 500,000 people are said to be enslaved won the 2013 Human Rights Price.

According to La-Croix, Biram and the 2 journalists arrested and placed under judicial supervision for relaying a critical article. Speaking on the incidence, Amnesty International has advised that; “Authorities in Mauritania must immediately put an end to the wave of arrests of journalists, opposition figures and anti-slavery activists in an apparent pre-election crackdown on dissent”.

We recognize these happenings as acts of intimidation being mooted without impunity to the opposition factions in Uganda and Mauritania.

We would also like to encourage you to join various campaigns set to advocate for the immediate release of Robert Kyagulanyi, which currently very active on Social Media through the hashtag, #FreeBobiWine and Biram Dah Abeid through the hashtag #freebiramabeid .