Uganda: Arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force hinder debate in run-up to elections

| December 14, 2015

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Ugandan police have arbitrarily arrested opposition leaders and used excessive force to disperse peaceful political gatherings, according to a recent report from Amnesty International.

The report, “We come in and disperse them,” documents a range of human rights violations between July and October 2015. It charges that members of the political opposition, including presidential candidates, have been repeatedly placed under “preventive arrest,” and that police have indiscriminately fired tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful demonstrators.

Muthoni Wanyeki is Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn, and the Great Lakes. He says: “Ugandans must be free to attend political rallies and engage with candidates, regardless of their political affiliations. Anyone found responsible for these violations must be brought to justice.”

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