A Nigerian lawyer and Human Rights activist has petitioned the United Nations (UN) over the continued house arrest imposed on Uganda’s opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi by security agencies in Uganda.
Through a law firm -Falana & Falana’s Chambers, Mr Femi Falana petitioned the UN Working Group on what he called arbitrary detention of Kyagulanyi, seeking opinion on ongoing “violation of Domestic and International Human Rights Conventions” by the Ugandan government, to which it is state party.
Falana says his petition derives locus from the manual of operations of special procedures of the Human Rights Council which gives lee way for an advocate to file a complaint on a specific human rights case or situation in a particular country.
Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine contested and lost in the 14th January, 2020 presidential election in which the incumbent Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner. Bobi Wine immediately announced he would contest the outcome in courts of law.
Ever since, Bobi’s movement out of his home has been restricted with security including the army maintaining deployment at his Magere home in Wakiso District. Police says Bobi Wine is being restricted for security reasons.
The advocate says the government of Uganda is arbitrary depriving Bobi Wine of his liberty without access to food, his party members and friends contrary to domestic and international laws.
In the petition, the advocate claims blockage of access to social media in Uganda has restricted Bobi Wine’s access to the media and other means of communicating with his party members.
Access to Bobi Wine’s residence has remained limited since election day last week as security maintains deployment at his gate with visitors undergoing scrutiny while many others are turned away. Security last week also blocked the head of US Mission in Uganda, Natalie Brown when she attempted to accessing Bobi Wine’s home.
“I am therefore seeking an opinion from the Working Group finding the house arrest and continued detention of Mr Wine and his Wife to be arbitrary and in violation of Uganda’s Constitution of 1995 (as amended) and obligations under international human rights law including the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights to which Uganda is a state party” the petition reads in part.
“Accordingly, it is hereby requested that the Working Group consider the individual complaint a formal request for an opinion of the Working Group pursuant to Resolution 1997/50 of the Commission on Human Rights as reiterated by Resolution 2000/36 and Human Rights resolution 6/4, 15/18, 2016 and 24/7.” the statement adds.