Ugandan High Court Orders the Immediate Release of Opposition Leader, Bobi Wine
Mr. Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulani, has been under de-facto house arrest at his home outside the capital, Kampala, since he returned from voting on January 14. According to official figures, He won 35% of the vote
Uganda’s high court on Monday ruled the security presence at the home of National Unity Platform party leader Bobi Wine since January 14 was unlawful. Deputy Court Registrar Jameson Karemani read the ruling, which said the detention of Wine and his family was a violation of their rights. “It has been established that his right to personal liberty has been infringed. Having found, as I do that the restrictions imposed on the applicant are unlawful, it is hereby ordered that they are lifted. Consequently, an order for restoration of the personal liberty of the applicant is hereby issued,” said Karemani.
High court judge, Justice Michael Elubu ruled in favor of Wine’s lawyers who had requested his release: “The continued indefinite restriction and confinement of the applicant to his home is unlawful and his right to liberty has been infringed.” He said. Michael Elubu further directed the police and military to immediately vacate the residence. He declared that Bobi Wine’s home was not a proper detention facility and said that authorities must bring criminal charges against him if he threatens public order.
Although the court’s decision was welcomed by Wine’s associates, Ugandan authorities have so far ignored the court orders. In a recent tweet, Bobi Wine told the public that he was still yet to be allowed out of his home.
Army spokesperson Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso said security forces would respect the court’s decision but indicated they might not withdraw immediately. “That is something we will all have to wait for and that will depend on how the security chiefs determine to do the withdrawal process. To really call upon the other side, that really you need to keep the law. We really need to do less of those things that seemingly cause insecurity. The provocations, the chaos that sometimes causes unnecessary anxiety,” she said.