By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: The European Union Delegation in Uganda has condemned the Ugandan government for the re-arrest of novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija who was yesterday granted bail but arrested again minutes after.
The EU delegation condemns the above via its joint statement together with the diplomatic missions of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway in Uganda regarding the same.
“We express serious concern at reports that Kakwenza has been taken against his will by armed men and is again being held in an unknown place of detention. If confirmed, such an action is a clear disrespect to the rule of law and the right of a Ugandan citizen to a fair trial,” partially reads the statement.
The EU delegation also appeals to all parties concerned to ensure that the rule of law and due process are upheld in this and all cases in Uganda.
Rukirabashaija who his lawyers say has been tortured in custody appeared frail in court and a prison guard told magistrate Douglas Singiza that Rukirabashaija was “complaining of pain” and asked to remain seated for the hearing.
In granting bail, Singiza ordered that prosecutors complete their inquiries into the case by Friday and be ready to state their position at the next hearing on February 1.
The magistrate also warned Rukirabashaija that if he spoke to the press before the case was completed his bail would “automatically collapse” and he would be returned to prison.
Diplomats from the United States and the European Union were present at Tuesday’s hearing.
Outside the court, his lawyer Eron Kiiza told journalists he did not think state prosecutors would be ready to present their case.
“I doubt it will go to full trial,” he said.
Rukirabashaija was charged on January 11 with “disturbing” veteran President Yoweri Museveni and his powerful son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, in a series of unflattering Twitter posts.
Kiiza has said that multiple scars detailed in a prison medical examination of his client were “obvious marks of torture”, and that his detention in December was illegal.
The author won acclaim for his 2020 satirical novel, “The Greedy Barbarian”, which describes high-level corruption in a fictional country.
He was awarded the 2021 PEN Pinter Prize for an International Writer of Courage, which is presented annually to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.