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Attacks on political activists' right freedom of peaceful assembly

11 July 2020 KAMPALA, UGANDA - According to news outlets, police in Uganda used tear gas to break up a crowd of supporters outside the offices of the opposition People Power Movement.

According to news outlets, police in Uganda used tear gas to break up a crowd of supporters outside the offices of the opposition People Power Movement.

Police blocked masses that had gathered at The People Power Movement as aspiring candidates picked up and returned nomination forms for the 2021 general elections. Aspirants come with their supporters and this attracted police attention and they fired tear gas. Hon Zaake, who currently moves around on crutches, was one of them and he is still nursing a spinal injury and has leg paralysis after his arrest in April. He was allegedly assaulted while detained by security agencies for defying presidential directives.

Joel Ssenyonyi, the People Power spokesperson, says the group has so far received nomination forms from 5,500 people. He says the continuous battle with police is only invigorating the party.

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Opposition supporters have criticized police in recent weeks for cracking down on opposition functions and arresting its members. In contrast, the police let members of the ruling National Resistance Movement, under President Yoweri Museveni, carry on without any hindrances.

But Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson, says the opposition members have defied presidential directives meant to control the spread of COVID-19.

In its recently released electoral roadmap, the Uganda Electoral Commission has urged all aspirants to observe procedures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Candidates have also been advised to use electronic media to campaign to avoid crowds.

Source: https://www.voanews.com/africa/ugandan-police-tear-gas-opposition-people-power-supporters

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