Uganda military court denies bail for 36 supporters of opposition leader

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The Ugandan General Court Martial in Makindye has denied bail for 36 members of the National Unity Platform, NUP.

The 36, along with another 13 NUP supporters who were previously released on bail, were arrested in December and January on charges for unlawful possession of ammunition during protests that preceded the January 14 election.

NUP leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, lost in that election to incumbent Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement, NRM.

Relying on recommendations by prosecutor, Ambrose Baguma, the Chairman of the General Court Martial, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti, cited the protesters’ alleged history of violence against Ugandan police and found that they were likely to engage in further violence if released on bail.

After denying the NUP supporters bail, Gutti requested that prosecutors expedite their collection of evidence so that they may begin the trial.

George Musisi, the lawyer representing the 36 NUP supporters, called the ruling a disgrace and noted that they will be pursuing a remedy from a higher court.

Kyagulanyi previously requested that the International Criminal Court investigate Museveni for sanctioning human rights abuses, and recently asked the Ugandan Supreme Court to cancel the January 14 election results, citing unlawful violence and corruption.

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