Author charged in crackdown on writers critical of Uganda government

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Ugandan prosecutors on Wednesday charged an creator with communications offences and remanded him in custody, the newest goal of a crackdown on writers crucial of long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni and his authorities.

The creator, Norman Tumuhimbise, was detained final week together with eight different people who collectively are activists in a strain group, their lawyer, Eron Kiiza, advised Reuters.

Seven of them have been launched late on Tuesday whereas two them, Tumuhimbise and a colleague, have been charged in a court docket within the capital Kampala on Wednesday with participating in cyberstalking and offensive communication.

In line with the cost sheet, the 2 “wilfully, maliciously, and repeatedly” used digital communication and revealed books aimed toward disturbing Museveni’s peace and quiet.

“That is only a clamp-down on freedom of expression, nobody in Uganda is free to speak in regards to the first household or write about it in crucial phrases,” Kiiza advised Reuters.

“It’s the newest indication of harassment and torture of people that write critically of Museveni and his household. They’re saying Ugandans are free to speak about soccer, beer, leisure however not Museveni or his management fashion.”

Tumuhimbise is creator of “Unsowing the Mustard Seed,” a guide crucial of Museveni and his authorities. Earlier than he was arrested he was selling the launch of a brand new guide entitled “Liars and Accomplices” that was as a result of happen on the finish of this month

Critics and the opposition have slammed Museveni’s authorities for repressing crucial artists and authors which they are saying mirrors a widening marketing campaign to muzzle all dissent.

A outstanding Ugandan creator, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, was detained in December final 12 months and later stated he had been repeatedly assaulted in custody, in a case that prompted america and European Union in February to demand punishment for perpetrators of torture within the nation.

Police on the time didn’t reply to a Reuters request for remark in regards to the allegations of torture. The federal government normally denies such accusations saying most are false whereas within the instances the place abuses have been dedicated, the perpetrators have been punished.

Rukirabashaija was later charged with communications offences associated to his tweets that criticised Museveni and his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, a basic within the army.

Rukirabashaija has since fled into exile in Germany the place he joined one other creator, Stella Nyanzi, who additionally fled after being harassed by Museveni’s authorities.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Enhancing by William Maclean)

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