A Ugandan lawmaker whose arrest sparked two days of anti-government demonstrations has been left unable to stand after being beaten while in detention, his lawyer said on Tuesday, citing relatives who visited him.
The Ugandan government denied the assault accusation as “rubbish” and said the London-based lawyer should visit the detention facility to see for himself.
The arrest last week of Robert Kyagulanyi, a musician-turned-lawmaker who goes by the stage name Bobi Wine, and four other lawmakers critical of President Yoweri Museveni triggered protests in the capital Kampala and other parts of the country.
They were arrested on Aug. 13 on suspicion of involvement in the stoning of a presidential convoy during a parliamentary by-election campaign.
Kyagulanyi was charged on Aug. 16 with unlawful possession of weapons and ammunition while three other lawmakers and dozens of other people also detained in relation to the stoning incident were charged with treason. He remains in a military facility in Kampala.
“We believe the ribs on the right side are crushed. He was beaten with a metal bar,” Robert Amsterdam, one of Kyagulanyi’s attorneys told Reuters, citing reports relayed to him from relatives who had visited Kyagulanyi. “He’s unable to stand.”
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo dismissed the comments.