March 02, 2022

Uganda: Exiled Satirist Alleges Torture

A Ugandan writer who was recently detained after insulting President Yoweri Museveni is suing the government over allegations of torture.

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was arrested in December 2021 by the army, and held for well over a month before he was released. He was allegedly tortured over tweets calling Mr Museveni an “election thief” and Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, “intellectually bankrupt”.

Now, the 33-year-old acclaimed author has approached the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania to declare that his arrest, detention and torture was illegal.

On Wednesday, 2 March, while talking to a British news outlet, he announced that last month he had fled to Germany over fears for his personal safety, sparking outrage in his home country regarding the treatment of suspects detained by security forces.

On the same day he tweeted: “Uganda should be expelled out of the East African community for [the] proliferation of human rights abuses.”

Rukirabashaija’s trial regarding his insults is expected to commence on 23 March.

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