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Bobi Wine now hires international lawyer

Kampala, Wednesday

Ugandan Kyadondo East MP and musician Robert Kyagulanyi aliasBobi Wine, who has been detained on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, has hired a US law firm, lawyer Robert Amsterdam says in a statement.

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 Wine, denies he has been tortured and President Yoweri Museveni has dismissed the claims as “fake news”.

Wine, has been held since last week, along with four fellow MPs and dozens of others.   They were campaigning in a bitterly contested by-election in Arua. Wine is due to appear in court on Thursday.

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 attack on human rights”.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for Uganda’s army has shared a brief video showing Wine smiling. Wine was being visited by the deputy speaker of parliament, Jacob Oulanya. NBS Television quotes Oulanya as saying the MP “is in a lot of pain. He is however in a uniquely humorous mood and we were laughing with him”.   

Elsewhere, global music stars have called for Wine’s release.  Benin’s Angelique Kidjo and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin are among the dozens of stars who have signed a petition calling for his release.

The petition, signed by some of the biggest names in music, criticises the “vicious, life-threatening physical attack” on Win.  – BBC

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