Uganda Dictator Museveni’s Military Attack Journalists as Bobi Wine Files Human Rights Petition at UN Office

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Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine. Photo: Twitter

Ugandan dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s military today assaulted journalists and scores of supporters of Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine—the presumptive winner of the recent presidential election—when the challenger went to file a complaint at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The soldiers attacked a handful of people accompanying Bobi Wine to the UNHRC offices and the reporters covering the event. Among those brutalized are: Geofrey Twesigye of NTV, Irene Abalo of The Daily Monitor, Shamim Nabakooza of Record TV, John Cliff Wamala of NTV, Timothy Mulungi of New Vision, Josephine Namakumbi of NBS TV, Thomas Kitimbo of NBS, among others.

Police claim journalists have become Bobi Wine’s personal bloggers on the internet. Military tanks and uniformed soldiers wielding machine guns had deployed heavily along major roads leading to the UNHRC’s  offices. Everyone was blocked from accessing the UN offices except for Bobi Wine and two other National Unity Platform (NUP) officials. NUP is the party headed by Bobi Wine, who was elected to Parliament in 2017.

An unidentified military officer then ordered the attack on the supporters who had been escorting Bobi Wine in addition to the journalists. Following the brutal attack by Gen. Museveni’s military, Bobi Wine posted a message on his Facebook page: 

“This afternoon we went to deliver our complaint against the grave human rights violations that are on the increase in Uganda. More specifically, we are complaining against the rampant abductions of over 3000 Ugandans simply because they support me. Before heading to the Human Rights office, several mothers and relatives of the abducted comrades joined us in addressing a press conference at our office. 

To expose himself as the brutal military dictator that he is, Museveni's military waited for us at the UN Human Rights office and unleashed incredible violence on the people who went with me, especially the journalists. We were not more than 25 people, but a military police officer gave orders and they started beating up everyone without mercy. Many of the journalists sustained grave injuries. They also attacked and beat up elected leaders including Hon. Nyeko Derrick and Hon. Aloysious Mukasa. Right outside the office of UN Human Rights!!! The dictator, like all those who came before him, continues to expose himself to the world for who he is…” 

This is not the first time a joint operation of Police and Military men brutalized journalists. During the campaign before Gen. Museveni rigged the Jan. 14 election, journalists covering presidential candidates Bobi Wine of NUP, and Patrick Amuriat Oboi of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), were physically beaten or fired at with live ammunition. Some of those wounded are still recovering in hospitals. 

During the campaign, Martin Okoth Ochola literally invited an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation when he declared that his police force were beating journalists for their own good—in order to prevent them from traveling to dangerous locations. Meanwhile, Gen. Elly Tumwine said police had a right to shoot to kill.

The writer can be reached via Kakawenzarukirabashaija@gmail.com 

 

Wounded journalists. Photo Nicholas Bamulanzeki via twitter.