The United States Embassy in Kampala has asked the government to end what it called the unlawful and effective house arrest of National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi.
The Embassy issued a statement following a futile attempt by the US Ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown who had gone to visit Kyagulanyi at his home in Magere in Wakiso district.
Kyagulanyi has since casting his vote on Thursday January 14 last week, been placed under house arrest by the military, in what the government says is aimed at stopping him from organising protests.
Below is the full statement by the US Embassy in Kampala.
U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown attempted to visit presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi at his residence on January 18, but was denied access by Ugandan security forces.
The United States regularly meets with actors across Uganda’s political spectrum as part of its diplomatic engagement. The purpose of Ambassador Brown’s visit was to check on Mr. Kyagulanyi’s health and safety, given that he’s effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence.
Uganda’s election campaigns were marred by the harassment of opposition candidates, campaign staff, and supporters; suppression of the media and civil society organization activities; and a nationwide internet shutdown before, during, and after voting day.
These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest of a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy.
We call on the Ugandan government to respect their citizens’ human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press as provided for in Uganda’s own constitution and according to commitments Uganda has made to uphold international human rights standards.
Nobody should be unlawfully denied a means to communicate and the freedom to leave their home, should they choose to do so.