Friday, August 31, 2018

UGANDA: Police Shut Down Capital After Opposition Figure Re-Arrested

FILE - A Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier stands guard as supporters of Ugandan singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, stand outside of Kyagulanyi's recording studios in Kampala's Kamwokya suburb, Aug. 27, 2018.
Uganda Police Shut Down Capital After Opposition Figure Re-Arrested

VOA - Protests broke out in Uganda's capital Friday after police arrested a prominent opposition figure who was trying to leave the country for medical treatment.

Pop star-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, was arrested at the Kampala airport Thursday night. His lawyer told VOA that Kyagulanyi was taken to a government hospital, allegedly so authorities can determine whether he is truly ill.

The attorney, Medard Ssegona, says Kyagulanyi is "not in good health" and was referred for a medical examination in the United States.

Kyagulanyi was one of five lawmakers arrested earlier this month in connection with an incident where protesters threw stones at the vehicle of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Kyagulanyi and other lawmakers have said they were beaten and tortured while in detention.

Police Friday re-arrested another one of the five lawmakers, Francis Zaake, as he also tried to leave the country for medical treatment.

The protests erupted early Friday in the Kamwokya neighborhood of Kampala. Police and soldiers have deployed around the capital and that by midday there were no protests or clashes in the city.

One reporter was attacked and beaten by security forces while covering the events amid growing signs that security personnel are now deliberately targeting journalists.

The 74-year-old Museveni has led Uganda for 32 years. In July, a presidential age limit was removed from the constitution, allowing him to run for re-election when his term expires in 2021.

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