The Africa Liberal Network (ALN), Liberal International (LI) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for freedom (FNF) are deeply concerned by the continued human rights violations in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections in Uganda, taking place on 14 January 2021. These violations include arbitrary arrests, detention, and torture. Reports indicate that many covid-19 restrictions have been enforced selectively, to curtail the political participation of the opposition.
Leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu MP, known as Bobi Wine, and his supporters have consistently been the main target of these political attacks. At least 55 people have been killed in the past month during protests against the repeated arrests and detentions of him and other opposition candidates.
Bobi Wine, a popular singer, received the Africa Freedom Price 2019 from FNF. His party recently engaged in the Political Startup Incubator (PSI) project*.
We call on sitting President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for the past 35 years, and the Ugandan security forces to immediately cease all anti-democratic attacks on the legitimate political opposition, and to allow the people of Uganda to have their say in the future of their country. Further, we urge the international community – including the African Union and the European Union – to speak out to condemn and take action to prevent such brutal violations, and to hold the culprits responsible when they take place.
- Dr Hakima el Haité, President of Liberal International
- Professor Karl Heinz Paqué, Chairman of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and Deputy President of Liberal International
- Astrid Thors, LI VP and Chair of the LI Human Rights Committee (HRC)
- Gilbert Noël Ouédraogo, President of the Africa Liberal Network (ALN)
- Gyde Jensen MP, Chair of the Bundestag Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid and LI HRC member
- Darren Bergman MP, Shadow Minister of International Relations for South Africa and member of the LI HRC
- Rose Sakala, LI HRC member and ALN Vice President for Southern Africa
* a joint initiative of Liberal International, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, the Innovation in Politics Institute with the support of the Africa Liberal Network that seeks to equip liberal democratic political startups with the skills they need to win elections.