Uganda’s Bobi Wine set to be charged, hires US lawyer

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Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine: to appear in court on Thursday

Ugandan independent MP and musician Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, will be arraigned in court on Thursday, charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

Ahead of the case, he has hired a US lawyer Robert Amsterdam.

Mr Amsterdam described his client’s arrest as a “politically motivated act of repression” and alleges that he has been tortured in custody.

The army, which is holding Mr Kyagulanyi, denies that he has been tortured and President Yoweri Museveni has dismissed the claims as “fake news”.

Mr Kyagulanyi won a bye-election last year.

He has been held since last week, along with four fellow MPs and dozens of others.

They were campaigning in a bitterly contested bye-election in Arua in the north of the country.

Mr Amsterdam is recommending that the US should “hit [government] officials in their wallets with a Magnitsky-style sanctions schedule as they need to understand the consequences of this attack on human rights”.

The US Magnitsky Act allows Congress to impose sanctions on human rights abusers anywhere in the world.

Earlier on Wednesday, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya visited Mr Kyagulanyi at the Makindye Military Barracks.

Mr Oulanyah confirmed the MP’s poor state of health.

“I talked with Hon Kyagulanyi but he is in a lot of pain. He is however in a uniquely humorous mood and we were laughing with him,” Oulanyah is quoted as saying.

In an eight-second clip circulated widely on social media, Kyagulanyi is seen in a red shirt and pair of shorts with slippers siting around a plastic table laughing but with apparent difficulty.

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