Bobi Wine says Ugandan police put him under house arrest | ET REALITY

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Uganda’s top opposition leader said Thursday he was detained at the airport and placed under house arrest upon his return from abroad, a claim authorities denied despite a history of repression by the African nation’s autocratic leader. Oriental against its main rival.

Opposition figure Bobi Wine said men he did not know had grabbed him after disembarking from his flight at Entebbe International Airport. They twisted his arms behind his back, he said, and bundled him into a nearby car, sandwiched him between two armed men and took him away.

He was then taken to a van where, he said, several soldiers sat on him and kicked his head with their boots. Wine was then taken to his home in the capital, Kampala, where, he said, dozens of security officers were already stationed. inside and outside the premises.

“I am alive, but under house arrest,” Wine said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon.

Ugandan police denied he had been arrested and said they had “successfully escorted” Mr Wine to his home, where he was with family and friends. “Disregard rumors about his arrest by propagandists,” police said. said in a statement on Xthe social media platform formerly called Twitter.

Wine, who was returning to Uganda after a two-week trip abroad, said security forces had beaten the doorman and gardener of his house, squeezing his genitals. The guard was taken to the hospital for treatment, he said.

He also said that 300 of his followers, as well as two dozen opposition government officials, along with journalists covering his return, had been arrested in the capital and elsewhere. Those figures could not immediately be confirmed.

Wine said security forces had fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse his supporters near his home. After turning on her phone’s camera, she pointed to an outside camera monitor that showed security forces patrolling the streets around her home, as well as several police patrol vans and prison vans.

“I am surrounded by the military and no one is allowed to leave or anyone to come,” he said.

Security forces also closed Wine’s party offices and prohibited people from entering or leaving, according to the party’s general secretary, David Lewis Rubongoya.

“The levels of fear are incredible,” Rubongoya said. said in a post on X.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has risen in recent years to become the biggest challenger to President Yoweri Museveni’s decades-long rule. Museveni, a key Western ally, has ruled the landlocked nation with an iron fist since 1986, muzzling the press, jailing dissidents and winning six terms in elections marred by allegations of fraud and manipulation.

Wine’s lawyer, Bruce Afran, condemned the authorities’ actions on Thursday, saying they were “designed to interfere with the basic right of Ugandans to participate in political activities and to prevent the opposition leader from meeting the people.” of his country”. “

Wine’s allegation of mistreatment comes as Uganda’s government faces widespread condemnation for enacting one of the world’s most punitive anti-gay laws. The United States and the European Union have condemned the law and the World Bank has suspended any new financing to the country.

Mr. Wine’s trip took him to Canada, the United States and South Africa. In addition to holding political rallies with his supporters abroad, he also attended the screening of a new documentary called “Bobi Wine: The People’s President.”

“They are punishing me for the movie,” Wine said when asked why he thought the government had placed him under house arrest. “They are punishing me for exposing them.”

On Thursday night, Wine said he was at home with his wife, activist Barbie Kyagulanyi, and that his family had been left in disarray.

He said he really wanted to take his 15-year-old daughter to a birthday dinner. Her 8-year-old daughter felt “traumatized” and confused, she said. And her 13-year-old son was stranded at a roadblock and couldn’t get home from school.

“It’s stagnant,” he said. “Now I have to negotiate to allow my son to return home.”

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