The U.S Embassy in Uganda and the European Union (E.U) Heads of Mission have expressed concern over the brutal treatment of Members of Parliament and other civilians including journalists following the violent events that happened in Arua on Monday.
In a statement issued Friday, the U.S Embassy in Kampala said it was “disturbed” by reports regarding brutality towards the detained suspects.
Four MPs including Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine (Kyadodo East), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East) and Francis Zaake (Mityana municipality) were arrested in Arua where they were campaigning for one of the aspirants in the Arua municipality election, Kassiano Wadri.
They along with other supporters of Wadri are accused of pelting stones at the convoy of President Yoweri Museveni. Over 30 people were arrested including journalists working with NTV Uganda and NBS TV who say they were assaulted by security personnel.
“We are deeply concerned by recent events in Arua, Kampala, and Gulu, and disturbed by reports of brutal treatment of Members of Parliament, journalists, and others at the hands of security forces,” the U.S Embassy said in a statement.
The Embassy is asking that those detained be treated humanely and be allowed to see their lawyers and family.
“All of those detained have the right to humane treatment, due process, access to lawyers and to their families, and a prompt, fair, and transparent trial”.
In addition, the Mission has called for the provision of medical treatment for the suspects that require it.
“Those who need medical attention should be granted immediate access to a doctor of their choice”.
It follows saddening accounts given by lawyers and family members of Bobi Wine who visited him on Friday at the Makindye military barracks where he is currently detained. Erias Lukwago, one of the lawyers said that Bobi Wine’s situation was terrible and that he could not walk.
Similarly, the heads of Missions of European Union (E.U) countries in Uganda have described the violence in Arua as well as the brutal treatment of elected MPs, civilians and journalists as “very disquieting events”.
“The Heads of Mission are deeply concerned by the events that have occurred before and after the Arua municipality by-election,” the E.U statement read in part.
They are asking government together with the civil society to address swiftly the events that have caused much suffering to the citizens and damaged Uganda’s global image. This, they said, should be done in full respect for the rule of law and individual rights if all concerned.
The American embassy has urged the government of Uganda “to show the world that Uganda respects its constitution and the human rights of all of its citizens”.