Uganda: Authorities Weaponize Covid-19 for Repression

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Sumary of Uganda: Authorities Weaponize Covid-19 for Repression:

  • Security forces arrested Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, on November 18, 2020, in Luuka district, Eastern Uganda, ahead of a planned campaign rally..
  • The police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said in a statement that Kyagulanyi, the presidential candidate of the National Unity Platform, was arrested for allegedly breaching Covid-19 regulations by mobilizing large crowds for his campaign rallies..
  • “The authorities can stem the slide toward further violence by ending the harassment of journalists and opposition candidates and their supporters, and the violent disruption of their campaign rallies.”.
  • Video footage circulating on social media shows men in civilian clothes apparently working alongside security forces to disperse crowds during the protests, brandishing guns on the streets of Kampala and shooting toward the sky..
  • They have arrested opposition party leaders and journalists, and dispersed opposition campaign rallies with teargas for allegedly flouting Covid-19 guidelines..
  • Despite attracting similarly large crowds in Kotido and Gulu, security forces allowed rallies and processions for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party to continue undisrupted..
  • Since campaigns began two weeks ago, the police have violently dispersed opposition rallies and blocked opposition members from reaching their venues….

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