US Congress, New Zealand PM attack Museveni over Bobi Wine

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Bobi Wine

US Congressman Bradley Sherman has condemned the manhunt by police of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and arrest of his team in Jinja town Saturday night.

Bobi Wine who was supposed to perform at Queens Palace in Jinja town was blocked by police that raided City Hotel where he was residing, arrested his crew and forcefully drove them out of Jinja town.

He is currently in hiding with police searching for him everywhere. He said police even mounted roadblocks to hunt for him.

Rep. Brad Sherman‏ tweeted: “Earlier this year I met with Bobi Wine after he was brutally beaten and detained by Ugandan security forces for speaking out against corruption.”

Victoria University

He added: “Today they have reportedly surrounded him and his team. The Ugandan government must commit to the essential principle of freedom of speech.”

Congress member Karen Bass who represents California’s 37th District, which includes Los Angeles, South LA, and Culver City, also condemned the harassment of Bobi Wine.

“Reports are coming out that Bobi Wine may be in danger in Uganda. Stifling freedom of speech and expression and arbitrary arrests have no place in a democracy,” Karen tweeted.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark also joined the social media fury at Ugandan authorities saying:

“Disturbing reports from Uganda where Opposition MP Bobi Wine is again in hiding following police violently arresting members of his concert crew. Bobi was badly hurt in an earlier violent arrest and detention. Government must allow opposition space.”

Helen said prior to this, Bobi Wine’s festive season concerts were being blocked by police.

Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director, Human Rights Watch [HRW] tweeted: “Ugandan police just raided hotel where rapper-politician Bobi Wine was staying ahead of concert tonight in Jinja.”

He added: “He escaped but is now hiding, fearful for his life as police search for him. Pressure needed to stop this effort to silence leading critic of President Museveni.”

Bobi Wine’s lawyer speaks

Lawyer Robert Amsterdam says his client [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.

Ugandan police reportedly stormed the hotel where they were staying and detained dozens, while then conducting a neighbourhood-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.”

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