Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has filed a complaint at the United Nations against President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda over the illegal detention of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine, a former reggae musician, had been under house arrest since Thursday night. It reports that 38-year-old Bobi Wine was Museveni’s main challenger in the 14 January 2021 Presidential election.
Contesting as a presidential candidate under the umbrella of the National Union Platform (NUP), Bobi Wine had emerged second best after polling 38 per cent of the votes.
Museveni was declared winner after claiming 58 per cent of votes cast. However, Ugandan forces had condoned off Wine’s house since last Thursday, effectively keeping him and his wife under house arrest and incommunicado.
On Tuesday, the United States Government announced that the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown, had been barred from seeing Bobi Wine
In a statement same day, Falana said that Bobi Wine had been denied access to his lawyers in a bid to prevent him from filing a petition against the declaration of Museveni as the winner of the highly flawed Presidential election.
“We have submitted a complaint against the government of Uganda to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concerning the detention of the detained couple,” Falana said.
The complaint by Falana, which was attached to the statement, read in part, “Mr. Wine and his wife are being illegally detained for days without any criminal charges preferred against him. He has also been denied adequate supply of food by hundreds of Uganda military forces and policemen who have laid siege to his house for the umpteenth time since the election day.
“I am therefore seeking an opinion from the Working Group finding the house arrest and continuing detention of Mr. Wine and his wife to be arbitrary and in violation of Uganda’s Constitution of 1995 (as amended) and obligations under international human rights law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Uganda is a state party.”
Also, a top U.S. diplomat to Africa, Tibor Nagy, called Uganda’s electoral process “fundamentally flawed,” citing “authorities’ denial of accreditation to election observers, violence and harassment of opposition figures” and the arrest of civil service organization workers.
“We continue to urge restraint and rejection of violence by all actors as Uganda’s election results are announced,” said Nagy in a series of tweets,.
“The immediate and full restoration of Internet connectivity is essential. The U.S. response hinges on what the Ugandan government does now.”