Uganda: Citizens Outraged by Violent Re-Arrest of Opposition Leader

This post is part of our special coverage Uganda: Walk to Work Protests.

Uganda opposition leader Dr.Kiiza Besigye was re-arrested in the capital Kampala for participating in the Walk to Work Campaign one night after he was granted bail.

Besigye had been granted bail on the condition that he would not engage in the campaign that has put the Ugandan regime in the headlines for three weeks now. The protests led by the opposition are aimed at high fuel prices which have led to high food prices and President Museveni is defiant that he will not intervene to reduce prices. The protests have so far left five people dead and dozens injured with bullets.

Today was the fourth time Besigye was arrested, this time with more show of force by the military and police. Besigye’s car windows were smashed with gun butts and teargas and pepper spray were sprayed in the car before her was thrown on a police truck. President Musveni's main challenger was later taken to Kasangati Magistrates Court where he was released on a non-cash court bond of Ushs. 5 million (aprox. US $2,100).

Protests broke out again today against the violent arrest of Besigye, and more than 100 people have been injured by police. Unconfirmed reports indicate that 3 people may have died.

Ugandans online have been reporting diligently on the Walk to Work campaign. Twitter and Facebook users were enraged by the manner in which Besigye was arrested.

On Facebook

Facebook users expressed worry about the increasing police brutality.

Don Wanyama said:

Seen the pictures of Besigye's arrest. I have never seen this kind of mistreatment. Break a guy's car and spray him with over 5 cans of teargas?? It is worse than the rape and treason and all other things slapped on him. It is troubling. For how long will Besigye take the pain for people who seem comfortable in their misery, who are cowed?

Asiim Blessed Bryans reported on Facebook:

Police is dispassing rioters in kibuli and the place seem to coming normal bt all shops are close its police in control

According to Nicholas Lukyamuzi Radio stations are not mentioning the riots:

Radio stations scared of being closed and thus normal programing nutin with riots z mentioned.

Godgfrey Holidays asked, “What will happen if we run to work?“:

New idea no more walking but running to work i wana c if this police guys can handle really . . . .

On Twitter

The twitter hashtag #walk2work has been used to report on the campaign and from the time of his arrest in the morning, tweets were coming with different updates and opinions.

@joydoreenbiira: How Besigye was arrested for the fourth time – VIA @ugandatalks My mood today is totally shattered,I'm SPEECHLESS

@RedPepperUG: UPDATE: Besigye before he was arrested: “Am not setting out to be a martyr, I'm simply asserting my citizen's rights.” #walk2work

@Snottyganda: Why would anyone push a Leader of the opposition Man who was candidate for president under the chairs of pickup like a criminal#walk2work

@RedPepperUG: WITNESS: Mukwanor Road, and nearby industrial streets full of people running from city Center #walk2work #ugandanews

@SMSMediaUganda: Reports that Kisekka Mkt traders are demonstrating and shops have been closed. MORE DETAILS COMING UP. Type SUBNEWS & send to 8198.

@dispatchug: Video of Besigye's arrest by police and plain-clothed security operatives. #walk2work

Besigye released: FDC leader Dr Kiiza Besigye has been released on a non cash court bond of 5m. No

@RedPepperUg: UPDATE: MTN confirms ‘general call failure’ says technical team working to resolve situation #walk2work #ugandanews via @MTNUGANDACARE

Besigye’s lawyer David Mpanga has also been tweeting updates on the situation. Follow live updates here.

This post is part of our special coverage Uganda: Walk to Work Protests.


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