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What Dr Stella Nyanzi told court

University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017.  Her Lawyer is Nicholas Opiyo (right) PHOTO AFP

Prominent academic and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi on Monday denied charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication that have been read out to her this afternoon.

Her appeal for bail was not granted, as she was remanded to Luzira prison until April 25 for court to hear her response to the state application she be taken for mental checkup.

When asked to plead to the charges by Buganda road court chief Magistrate James Eremye,  Nyanzi told court that she actually authored the messages criticizing President Yoweri Museveni, but hastened to add that she is not guilty.

“Offensive communication? Who is offended? How long are Ugandans going to be silent because of fear….He makes promises about sanitary pads, he goes against the promise…only honorable men fulfill their promises. Yoweri Museveni is dishonorable,” Nyanzi told court.

“I am ready to take on the mantle of insanity if the regime is going to be told for the first timeabout how it has offended Ugandans…Yes your honor I have written a lot about those who rule us, nepotism, however I am not guilty of offensive communication,” she concluded.

What lawyer Opiyo said after the case

“Dr Stella Nyanzi has been charged with cyber-harassment and offensive communication (and) using her Facebook posts to disturb President Museveni’s privacy, which she denies,” her lawyer Nicholas Opiyo told AFP.

“Dr. Nyanzi is within her constitutional rights and we are for an all-out legal battle with the state to defend her rights.”

She remains in custody pending a bail hearing.

Nyanzi, whose work specialises in the study of sexuality in Africa, shot to prominence in April 2016 when she stripped naked at her university to protest the closure of her office. She later shared the nude photos of herself on social media.

Nyanzi is often accused by commentators on her page of missing a chance to make an impact on serious issues through her regular use of graphic sexual imagery and descriptions.

***Additional reporting by AFP

RELATED STORY: Why there is no bail consideration for Nyanzi until April 25

Computer Misuse Act by The Independent Magazine on Scribd

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