The European parliament (EP) has bemoaned human rights breaches in Uganda calling for the government to respect the independence of the legislature.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a resolution made reference to the violent turn of events during a by-election in August. A number of lawmakers were arrested after the president’s convoy was reportedly stoned by opposition elements.
The resolution specifically mentioned the case of musician turned lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine, tasking the government to drop what it said were trumped up charges.
Bobi Wine who claims he was tortured by the presidential guard after he was arrested in Arua is currently facing treason charges. He is in the United States where he is seeking specialized care after torture at the hands of the security forces. The government denies his claims.
Uganda: end arrests of opposition MPs and ensure national assembly’s independence
MEPs expresses deep concern at the arrests of opposition parliamentarians in connection with the 15 August municipality elections in Arua in north-west Uganda, which was marked by violence.
They also call on the Ugandan authorities to drop what appear to be trumped-up charges against independent parliamentarian, musician and government critic Bobi Wine, and to stop the crackdown against the political opposition and supporters.
Parliament stresses that it is vital for Ugandan democracy that the President and the government respect the independence of the country’s Parliament and the free and elected mandate of its members.
The resolution also notes with concern that journalists covering recent political demonstrations and riots have been beaten along with participants, and calls on Ugandan security forces to show restraint when policing protests, to desist from using live bullets and to act lawfully with full respect for human rights.