Uganda police lock up over 100 in Bobi Wine protests

Tuesday August 21 2018

By DAILY MONITOR
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Ugandan police and army have arrested and locked up more than 100 people in crackdown on protests against detention of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.

The protesters were rounded up on Monday in the capital Kampala and its outskirts.

However, police spokesperson Emilian Kayima said only 45 suspects were being held in different police stations.

“Fortunately, police with sister security agencies stopped the protests. We want to ask Ugandans, mostly people in Kampala, to desist from these acts. Protests are criminal. We ask you to express your emotions in a manner that does not contravene the law,” Mr Kayima said.

But a police officer who was part of the operations had earlier told the Daily Monitor that more than 80 suspects had been detained at the Old Kampala Station.

More than 50 others, he said, had been detained at Kampala South Divisional Police headquarters in Katwe and an unspecified number of suspects were being held at Kampala Central Police Station.

Demonstrations started at around 10am at Kisekka market and spread to Kampala Road, Namirembe Road, Nakivubo Mews, Ben Kiwanuka Street and Katwe.

Brute force

The protesters, chanting in praise and support of Mr Wine, were met with brute force from Special Forces Command (SFC), Military Police and Field Force Police (FFP).

The fully armed security officers dispersed the protesters using teargas, canes, batons and live bullets.

The besieged crowds shouted release ‘Bobi Wine’ and chanted his trade mark slogans; ‘People Power, Our People and Time is now’.

The demonstrators burnt tyres and logs on Kampala Road junction, Kisekka market lane, Kikuubo market road and Katwe.

Security forces unleashed brutality on people gathered on verandahs by clobbering them with sticks, clubs, kicks, slapping and pinching them with scissors.

Teargas canisters were fired into buildings where people had taken cover to escape flying bullets.

The teargas made people scream for help as they were choking but entrances and exits of buildings such as Nabukera Plaza, Equatorial Mall and Shamba Plaza had been closed and were being manned by either police or army.

The gates were later opened but people were whipped as they moved out.

Ms Irene Nakasita, the Red Cross spokesperson, refuted reports that her organisation had picked two bodies of people shot dead and rescued scores injured with gun shots and teargas.

“We only handled four cases of injuries and they were minor. We gave them First Aid and they were discharged immediately. We did not refer anyone to hospital,” she said.

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