The Ugandan authorities must drop all criminal charges against several leading opposition figures temporarily detained today for taking part in protests in the capital Kampala, Amnesty International said today.
The opposition politicians, activists and their supporters were arrested during demonstrations calling for people to walk to work in protest at fuel price rises.
Most of the politicians were later released on bail but still face criminal charges.
“The stifling of this protest and the force used against the protesters is an outrageous affront to freedom of expression, made possible by Uganda's unjust ban on public rallies," said Amnesty’s researcher on Uganda, Dr. Godfrey Odongo.
"The Ugandan government must not use criminal charges against people engaged in peaceful protests, and all those still in custody must be released."
Among those arrested were Kizza Besigye, leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao and four newly elected opposition members of parliament affiliated to the FDC party.