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Uganda: Drop absurd charges against academic Stella Nyanzi

    December 19, 2018

    The Ugandan authorities must immediately drop charges against radical academic Stella Nyanzi and put a stop to the charade that has seen her spend weeks in jail, Amnesty International said today as her case finally went to trial.

    The charges levelled against Stella Nyanzi under the Computer Misuse Act are in direct contravention of Uganda’s constitution and its international human rights obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the right to freedom of expression.

    “Stella Nyanzi has been repeatedly harassed, arrested and detained, simply for daring to speak out against the government. These latest charges relating to Facebook posts in which she criticized President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni, are yet another callous attempt to silence her,” said Roland Ebole, Amnesty International’s Uganda researcher.

    “We are calling on the Ugandan authorities to drop these absurd charges and ensure that she is able to enjoy her human rights without any fear of intimidation or arrest.”

    The Ugandan authorities must also scrap the Computer Misuse Act 2011 - a repressive law has been used to systematically harass, intimidate and stifle government online critics.

    The Makerere University academic was arrested on 2 November at a police station where she had gone to notify officers of a protest she was planning to hold at the university.

    This is the second time she has been charged with insulting the president and violating his right to privacy.

    For more information, or to request an interview, please contact:

    Lucy Scholey, Amnesty International Canada (English), 613-744-7667, ext. 236; lscholey@amnesty.ca