Statement from Human Rights Watch and Chapter Four Uganda On Blocked Besigye Visit

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Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

(Kampala, February 24, 2016)

Dr. Besigye invited us, in our role as human rights defenders, to meet with him today to talk about human rights concerns – something we do regularly with the government of Uganda and other political actors.

Police denied us access to Dr. Besigye’s home, claiming we were not on his program for today, despite an explicit invitation and the presence of his staff to receive us.

We remain concerned that Dr. Besigye’s current legal status as a prisoner in his home has no basis in Ugandan law, constitutes arbitrary detention and violates basic human rights to free expression and association.

We hope police will keep their promise that we can have access another day though we dispute that they have as basis on which to assert that authority to control guests to a private residence.


For more information, please contact:

In Kampala, Law Lecturer at Makerere University School of Law and attached to Human Rights and Peace Center, Dr. Kabumba Busingye, +256 777-792399 (mobile)

In Kampala, for Human Rights Watch, Maria Burnett: +256-775-561-348 (mobile), +1-917-379-1696 (mobile and WhatsApp); or Twitter: @MariaHRWAfrica

In Kampala, for Chapter Four Uganda, Anthony Masake, +256 702 599 192.  

In San Francisco, for Chapter Four Uganda, Nicholas Opiyo, +1 415 728 2598