Uganda: Bobi Wine Charged, Detained At Maximum Security Prison


The authorities in Uganda have arrested opposition politician and musician Robert Kyagulanyi, who is popularly known by his stage name Bobi Wine.  

Kyagulanyi was placed under house arrest last week between Monday and Thursday on so-called preventive measures after police claimed that they were concerned he could disrupt order following the cancellation of his scheduled concert. Kyagulanyi has alleged that at least 124 shows where he has been scheduled to appear have been cancelled in recent months. 

Amnesty International is among those to speak out on Kyagulanyi’s arrest and call for his release. A statement released Tuesday quotes Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Seif Magango as stating, “The Ugandan authorities must immediately free Bobi Wine and stop misusing the law in a shameless attempt to silence him for criticizing the government.” 

“It is not a crime for Bobi Wine to hold a concert or organize a protest; it is a right enshrined in Ugandan and international law. The authorities must respect and uphold Bobi Wine’s right to liberty, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” Magango added.

Kyagulanyi was arrested on Tuesday as he went to attend a summons by the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) and has subsequently been charged with illegal assembly and procession relating to a street protest held in July 2018 opposing the introduction of a new social media tax. He is being held at Luzira Maximum Security Prison.

The musician-politician recently confirmed his intention to contest the 2021 president elections in Uganda, when President Museveni is expected to run for a sixth term in office.