Uganda: Protesters Bare Bras After Police Sexually Assault Politician

After the A4C (Activists for Change) was banned in Uganda earlier this month, the activists rebranded it “4GC”, which stands for “For God And My Country” (Uganda's official motto). The 4GC members including the leading opposition figure Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, Mathias Mpuuga, Ingrid Turinawe and others have continued to stage rallies around the country. This time on Friday 20 April, 2012 the rally was at Nansana in Kampala.

The moment Ingrid Turinawe, the chairperson for Women League of the Forum for Democratic Change and one of key female politicians in Uganda, arrived at the venue of the rally, police officers came to arrest her. One of them intentionally held her right breast and started to press it. This made Ugandans react angrily after NTV Uganda ran a video footage showing a police officer sexually assaulting her.

Image of Ingrid Turinawe being sexually asaulted. Courtesy of Uganda's Daily Monitor.

Ugandan Police spokesperson Ibn Ssenkumbi came out and denied the allegations saying that the arrest was conducted by a female police officer. This prompted NTV to show the video footage in a slow motion for the people to see clearly.

Following the incident, women activists stripped to their bras in public showing anger and disapproval of police brutality against the female politician. Six of them ended up being arrested and detained.

Uganda's community on Twitter came out and reacted angrily about the incident:

@TusiimeSamson says:

@TusiimeSamson: After watching the @ugandapf vs #IngridTurinawedo, i get this feeling that #EminBaro‘s of this world wd want to join police.Pathetic sight.

@gabrieloguda thinks:

@dukedanny4: History indeed repeats itself. Suddenly we are going back to the 1970's and early 1980's #brutality#IngridTurinawe #Uganda

Women activists who stripped to their bras being arrested. Photo courtesy of

@Ugandanet asks:

@Ugandanet: If they can do that to Ingrid Turinawe in public, imagine what they do to other women when no one's watching? #Uganda #IngridTurinawe

@pmagelah tells the Ugandan police that:

@pmagelah Let @ugandaupf stop using excuse that those who arrested #IngridTurinawe were women, it wont change a thing, it remains sexual violence

@IsNyaga belives police brutality has made Ingrid a presidential material:

@IsNyaga: #dearMuseveni you just made #ingridturinawe a presidential candidate.

@pmagelah requests for the arrest of the officer who assaulted Ingrid:

@pmagelah: Indecent Assault of a woman is a crime. Uganda Police must arrest &charge their officer who assualted #Ingrid#Turinawe#StopUgandaPolice

@joydoreenbiira tweets about the suspension of the police officer who asaulted Ingrid:

@joydoreenbiira: The #UgandaPoliceOfficer who assaulted#IngridTurinawe has been suspended over the alleged sexual assault; i need proof of this#CldBeVerbal

Opposition leaders and their supporters have been staging public rallies and protest in Uganda since 2011. Inspired by revolutions in North Africa, Uganda’s opposition groups staged protests against high fuel and food prices, calling on Ugandans in urban centers to walk to their work places.


  • Brian

    Good old police brutality. We’ve got that over in America as well, although it may not be so obvious.

  • […] Bare bra protest (April, 2012): As the name suggests, women came together in Kamplala, Uganda, sans shirts to protest, after a woman opposition leader was molested by the police. What enraged the women was the camera footage that showed a cop squeezing the breast of Ingrid Turinawe, while arresting her for demonstrating against the elected party, post alleged controversial elections. […]

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site