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Uganda: Museveni’s latest government must reverse decline on human rights

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Uganda’s government must use its latest term to reverse the ongoing deterioration in respect for human rights, said Amnesty International ahead of President Yoweri Museveni’s sixth swearing-in as leader of the east African country.

Museveni was announced winner with 58.6% of the votes in elections held in January, ahead of his leading opponent Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, who received 34.8%, according to the Electoral Commission, an outcome he disputed and challenged in court. The election followed a campaign characterised by human rights violations including unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests of opposition leaders and supporters, and attacks on journalists.

“By the government’s own admission, security forces shot dead at least 54 people in just two days in November 2020 in response to widespread protests over the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi, while he was on the campaign trail. The victims of the government’s response to these protests have yet to receive justice, truth and reparation,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

“Many opposition supporters and leaders arbitrarily arrested during the campaign period still remain behind bars and say they have been tortured in prison. Many others have been detained incommunicado, while some have been charged in military courts – notwithstanding that they are civilians, a situation that flies in the face of international human rights standards to which Uganda is a party. The Ugandan authorities must immediately and unconditionally release anyone detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights.”

Human rights defenders have also been put under immense pressure in recent months, with some slapped with trumped-up criminal charges. One leading human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo, continues to battle charges of money laundering after he was arbitrarily arrested with four other persons, among them three lawyers, at the peak of the campaign period.

Journalists have not been spared either. Human Rights Network for Journalists (HNRJ) Uganda, an NGO, reported more than 100 cases of human rights violations against journalists during the election campaign, including cases of police violence, especially when they were out covering political candidates.

On 3 November, a foreign journalist was pepper-sprayed in the face by a police officer, and two days later a Ugandan journalist working for international media was shot in the face by a policeman. Another foreign journalist was targeted by a police officer and shot at close range with a rubber bullet. The authorities also imposed an internet shutdown on election day, greatly hampering access to information during the crucial exercise.

“The unlawful killings, beatings, abductions, arbitrary detentions and other human right violations by the Ugandan security forces before, during and after the elections must not be swept under the carpet. President Museveni must use his latest term to redirect Uganda towards a human rights-respecting future. To do so will require investigating these and other previous human rights violations, making sure that all those suspected of criminal responsibility are brought to justice in fair trials before ordinary civilian courts, and fairly and adequately compensating the victims and their families for the suffering they have been subjected to,” said Deprose Muchena.

“This is the bare minimum that will set Uganda on the course towards better respecting its international human rights obligations; a minimum that Uganda’s international partners should encourage President Museveni’s new government to meet and exceed.”

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Ex-Ivorian president Gbagbo files for divorce

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As per media reports in the West African country Gbagbo’s lawyer Claude Mentenon said in a statement that after years of “repeated rejected requests for Simone Ehivet to consent to an amicable separation”, the ex-president had asked an Abidjan court for a divorce.

The announcement comes four days after Gbagbo returned to Ivory Coast following a decade’s absence, during which he was tried for crimes against humanity during the post-election conflict of 2010-11.

Simone Gbagbo wielded significant political influence as the first lady and was arrested alongside her husband in April 2011 after he refused to concede defeat, sparking a conflict that left some 3,000 people dead.

Simone Gbagbo was sentenced to 20 years’ prison in Ivory Coast for “violating state security”, but was released in 2018 after seven years of detention as part of an amnesty.

Gbagbo’s homecoming comes after his once-bitter rival, current President Alassane Ouattara, embraced his return in the name of national reconciliation.

Laurent and Simone Gbagbo, who have two daughters, married in 1989 and campaigned alongside each other for the introduction of multi-party elections in the 1990s.

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KBC presenter Shiksha Arora mugged in Nairobi

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Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) presenter Shiksha Arora says she was a victim of a mugging in Nairobi.

The incident, she says, happened at the Globe roundabout flyover, on Monday June 21, 2021, on the day she rejoined the national broadcaster after a year break.

Via a tweet thread, Shiksha described the experience as a ‘near-death’ ordeal where the thugs managed to get into the car she was driving and attempted to strangle her.

At around 5.20 pm, Shiksha says one of the thugs first knocked on her side mirror, bending it backwards, as if trying to remove it, before walking away.

As Shiksha was rolling down the window to reposition the mirror, a second guy started banging the front seat passenger window loudly to distracting her.

The presenter further said that a third guy came and through the driver’s window unlocked her car.

“As I was looking to my left, guy 3 slid his hand in through my window and unlocked my car, got into the back seat. Grabbed my purse and asked for my phone, at this point in time I was in panic mode, couldn’t say anything. He asked for it again and reached for my neck, strangling me,” she said.

Adding, “As he was strangling my neck, I desperately gasped for air, I started hooting loudly to get some attention, hoping somebody would help me. People started getting out of their cars and that’s when they let go and fled. He went with my purse, but I am TRAUMATIZED that he attacked me.”

Shiksha advised motorists not to roll down windows in any case of any commotion while on traffic as the thugs work in teams.

“These thugs work in teams in broad daylight during peak traffic, don’t roll down your window no matter what when on globe roundabout. I got lucky, he didn’t manage to hurt me much, despite strangling my neck and getting away with my purse. I am okay but traumatized,” she added.

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Mukhisa Kituyi’s Nudes Leaked

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Presidential Candidate Mukihsa Kituyi is a man under siege.His nude videos were released today by his love, a Mombasa lady by the name Dianna Opemi. Mukhisa, is a presidential aspirant in the 2022 elections, he is said to have assaulted his lover Dianna at a hotel in Nyali, Mombasa, who later on leaked his nude videos.

The lady claims that Mukhisa allegedly assaulted her,

“He pushed me from the bed, and continued kicking me even after I fell on the floor, whereby I ended sustaining injuries on the left knee,” she claimed.

Miss Opemi further recorded a statement at Nyali police station, claiming that Mukhisa brutally assaulted her after she refused his sexual advances. 

It is now believed that the disagreement that erupted between the two could have attributed to the leaking of the bedroom video on social media.

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