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Uganda opposition leader arrested again

Uganda’s opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested again Wednesday just five hours after being charged with inciting violence and released on bail, a leader of his political party told AFP.

“He was released today (Wednesday) but was rearrested thereafter. We don’t know why,” said Harold Kaija, an official of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.

“His release was a cosmetic one,” Kaija added. “Government is trying to bypass the long stay in detention by Besigye by re-arresting him after he was set free by the court.”

Besigye and five of his supporters had been charged with inciting violence and released on Wednesday after spending six days in detention, according to his party and police.

Ugandan police spokesperson Asan Kasingye late Wednesday could not confirm if Besigye was arrested again.

However, Mugisha Muntu, a FDC senior official, told AFP that “he (Besigye) was rearrested after he was released by the court. We protest this kind of behaviour by government.”

Besigye had been arrested last week following the killing of an opposition supporter during a protest, ruled illegal by authorities, in the western city of Rukungiri.

The protesters were marching against a ruling party plan to amend the constitution to remove presidential age limits, a move that would allow President Yoweri Museveni to stand for a sixth consecutive term in 2021.

Muntu earlier said that Besigye and five others had been “freed on non-cash bail of five million shillings ($1 400)”.

Area police spokesperson Elly Maate said the six are accused of inciting the public to assault a police officer, attacking the officer’s house and damaging a police vehicle.

“Besigye and the others are also charged with disobedience of lawful duty by holding an unauthorised rally in Rukungiri on October 18, 2017,” Maate said.

The six have denied all charges. The next court hearing is due in Rukungiri on November 18.


Agence-France Presse

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