London, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | UK parliamentarians have condemned the Ugandan Government’s reported arrest and torture of opposition MPs, urging the British Government to promote democracy in Uganda.
In a debate on the state of democracy in Uganda in the UK Parliament on Tuesday, British MPs joined Dr Paul Williams in denouncing the Museveni regime’s reported torture of opposition legislators, including the musician cum Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. Kyagulanyi, the MPs charged, was beaten after government security forces abducted him and four other opposition politicians in Arua after the area elections in August 2018. They have since been charged with treason.
According to a statement from legal and communications expertise firm PageField Global, the MPs in their session on Tuesday also called on UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the British Government to use their influence to promote democracy in Uganda. The government of President Museveni, who has ruled for 33 years this month, was described by Dr Williams in the debate as “a military government in civilian clothes”.
Commenting on the debate, Bobi Wine said: “It is overwhelming to receive the support and solidarity of our colleagues in the UK Parliament. President Museveni’s acts of repression against myself and other representatives of the people have no place in any democracy. I am so grateful for those in the UK, Uganda and across the world who uphold the values of justice and human rights, and condemn these actions.”
British MP Dr Paul Williams, who tabled the motion for the debate, said: “Uganda is a fantastic country with many talented people. I want to see the institutions of democracy strengthened so that people are free to choose their future leaders. There should be no place for intimidation and torture of MPs or any other Ugandans.”
International lawyer Robert Amsterdam, whose firm Amsterdam & Partners represents Bobi Wine, said: “The Ugandan authorities continue to engage in acts of flagrant political repression, aimed at violating the human rights of Bobi Wine and others. The public condemnation by British lawmakers of these acts of violence and intimidation sends a clear message to the Ugandan Government that they cannot escape accountability.”
Bobi Wine will be visiting the UK in the coming months to discuss the future of Uganda with politicians, academics and policymakers.