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Dr Stella Nyanzi wins appeal

DR Stella Nyanzi in court today. PHOTO Halima Athumani @Navilani

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & URN |  Dr Stella Nyanzi has won her appeal against conviction and 18-months sentence for cyber harassment.

Justice Peter Adonyo of the High Court has just quashed the conviction, and asked she be released.

There was however drama outside court, with prison officials and lawyers battling over Nyanzi who collapsed. Prison officials insisted on taking her, in her unconscious state, back to prison first, which they did as gun-shots were fired in the air.

Prisons Commissioner Johnson Byabashaija later confirmed in a tweet that it is procedural that when one’s conviction is overturned by a higher court, they are taken back to prison to clear with the authorities

Her lawyers challenged the August 1 verdict of Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu Musenze at Buganda Road Court on ten grounds including the magistrate’s failure to accord her a fair trial and acting without jurisdiction.

Dr Nyanzi’s conviction stemmed from an “impolite” birthday poem posted on her social media pages on September 16, 2018, a day after President Museveni’s 74th birthday.

The poem for which she was charged with the offences of cyber harassment and offensive communication under the computer misuse act had allegedly mocked President Museveni and his late mother Esteeri Kokundeka.

Justice Henry Peter Adonyo made the ruling this morning and ordered for the immediate release of the former Makerere University Research Fellow unless she has other pending charges.

Justice Adonyo also noted that the lower court violated Dr. Nyanzi’s constitutional right to a fair hearing.

 

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