Press release

Ugandan Authorities Arrest MPs after Campaign Rallies

Violence and arrests following local campaign events appear to be part of the Ugandan security force's practice of targeting dissenting voices.


Following the Ugandan authorities’ arrest and reported torture of Members of Parliament, journalists and others, and the death of one person after local campaign rallies on August 13, 2018, in the Arua district in the northern part of the country, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“There is no place in a democracy for physical threats and intimidation of politicians, parliamentarians or citizens,” said Donald Rukare, chief of party for Freedom House in Uganda. “The violence and arrests after local campaign events appear to be part of the security force’s practice of targeting any and all who challenge the government. All Ugandans should be able to express their views without fear of violent reprisals from the government that is sworn to protect and serve them.”

Freedom House recommends that:  

  • The Government of Uganda investigate and prosecute all those responsible for the death of the civilian who died in Arua and the torture of Members of Parliament and journalists while they were detained
  • Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) face a trial for charges, if any, in civil court in accordance with the Constitution, instead of the Military Court Martial where he is currently being tried
  • The Government of Uganda and its security agencies respect and protect the fundamental rights of all Ugandans irrespective of their political convictions or opinions

Uganda is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2018, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2017.