The United Nations (UN ) High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed deep concern by the deteriorating human rights situation in Uganda ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 14 January and the challenges this situation may pose not only for voting day itself, but also for the post-electoral period.
The statement said: “ In the run-up to the election, numerous human rights violations have been reported, including of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and participation, as well as arbitrary deprivation of life, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture. Between 18 and 20 November, at least 54 people were killed during riots and protests in at least 7 districts across the country over the arrest and detention of two opposition presidential candidates, Robert Kyagulanyi, who is also known as Bobi Wine, and Patrick Oboi Amuriat, and members of the political opposition.
Indeed, the harassment, ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detention of opposition candidates and supporters have been a worrying development during the electoral campaign. Kyagulanyi, the candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP), has been blocked from holding campaign activities several times. Among recent incidents, Oboi Amuriat, the presidential candidate of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), was arrested on 2 January as he was campaigning in Nakasongola District and released on bail later the same afternoon. Journalists covering his campaign were reportedly beaten by security forces and ordered to delete videos and photos.”.
General elections will be held in Uganda on 14 January 2021 to elect the President and the Parliament. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the country since 1986, is seeking re-election while Bobi Wine is his chief contender.