Bobi Wine, leader of the democratic opposition in Uganda and member of the World Liberty
Congress, has been arrested by regime agents upon returning to his country from South Africa,
where he was meeting with the diasporas of various autocratic states. The Ugandan dictatorship
claims that it was merely “escorting” Mr. Wine to his home, but photos and videos of the event
clearly demonstrate a violent and unjustifiable arrest.
Bobi Wine is currently under house arrest. The police crackdown comes amidst accusations of
“criminal acts,” “illegal acts,” and “disrupting the public order.” These accusations are
commonly used to excuse the harassment of democratic dissidents, and are the hallmark of
politically motivated persecutions. Wine was snatched off of the airport tarmac and tossed into a
police vehicle, where he was reportedly beaten by his captors. His home is currently surrounded
by police and military.
Mr. Wine leads a grassroots democratic movement which seeks to remove Yoweri Museveni, an
autocrat who has governed the country since 1986. A threat to the established political order, Mr.
Wine’s National Unity Party (NUP), was banned by the regime in September, and its members
have faced arbitrary arrests and ongoing harassment by the authorities. NUP reports that 300 of
its supporters were arrested last night.
The WLC calls upon the international community to stand with the democratic movement in
Uganda. The regime of Yoweri Museveni receives billions of dollars in aid from the US
government, much of which is used to purchase military equipment used to repress Ugandan
democratic voices. The international community should speak with one voice; the democratic
voices of Uganda cannot be allowed to be terrorized and intimidated by an illegitimate autocrat.
The WLC and the international network of democracy defenders it represents stands with
Bobi Wine and demands his immediate release.