UN Rights Group Warns Uganda As Protests Turn Violent

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The UN High Commission for Human Rights has warned Uganda of its obligations under international law as protests over last week’s elections turn violent.

Reports have emerged that at least two people have been killed and many more injured during protests in the country’s capital, Kampala. A heavy military and police force presence has been building up in the aftermath of Thursday’s elections, which had been largely peaceful.

 

Two reportedly killed, opposition arrests

Unconfirmed reports have emerged that two people have been killed in protests over election results that saw President Museveni secure a fifth term in power. The acting president received just over 60 percent of all votes, but opposition groups have called the results fraudulent.

Museveni’s main opposition candidate Kizza Besigye, who was arrested and released on three separate occasions last week, was detained once again on Thursday. He was then placed under house arrest – without charge or judicial order – before being taken to a police station in Nagalaama after he tried to leave his home.

Two other presidential candidates have since been arrested, in addition to Kampala’s Lord Mayor, as he was speaking to the press about Besigye’s arrest.

 

UN concerned by ‘display of force’

Spokesperson Pouilly also expressed the organisation’s concern over the presence of military and police forces in Uganda’s capital.

“We are also concerned about the intimidating display of force used (on) Friday by Ugandan police and military forces to evacuate the FDC headquarters in Kampala, with tear gas and live ammunition reportedly used, and by worrying information of journalists being harassed and intimidated by security forces,” she said in a statement.

The statement goes on to warn Uganda over its obligations to respect international human rights law:

“We remind the Government of Uganda of its obligations under international human rights law not to unduly restrict freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

 

Featured image: Public domain