Free Besigye, drop treason charges-Muntu


Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] president Mugisha Muntu has called upon government to release former party candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye from prison.
Besigye was arrested in Kampala on Wednesday and detained in Moroto district in Karamoja sub-region.

The U.S government has since criticised his detention of as well as the ban on the coverage of the defiance campaign.

On Friday evening, Besigye was produced at the Moroto Chief Magistrates Court, charged with treason and remanded to Moroto government prison until May 25.

Prosecution alleges that between February 18 and May 11, 2016, Besigye in various places in Wakiso and Kampala districts incited the people to overthrow the government.

Besigye is also accused of declaring himself as president for having won the February 18 presidential elections.

Under the penal Code Act, treason is punishable by either death or life imprisonment.

Besigye was previously charged with treason in 2005, but government lost the case.

Speaking to the press on Saturday at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Muntu condemned Besigye imprisonment, calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Muntu also demanded that treason charges against him be dropped.

Muntu said Besigye was put on charges of treason in Moroto beyond working hours.

“He was not allowed legal representation and in allocation so far away from Kampala. And this is after more than two months of harassment against him.”

Muntu blamed this on the system of intolerance in the regime and the fear for fair competition.

Muntu said courts of law should act independently of the Executive constituent with the principle of separation of powers.

“We condemn the acts of the regime for the harassments conducted against Besigye and against the party. We must all be equal before the law, we must all act constitutionally and we must all enjoy our freedoms.”

Free legal services

Muntu hinted at the plan to offer free legal services to some of their members who are still locked up in various prisons.

Others like Wafula Oguttu (leader of opposition), Michael Kabaziguruka (FDC deputy electoral commission chairman) and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (party spokesperson) are under house arrest.

He told Uganda Radio Netwok that the party will embark on the collection of details of their supporters in custody on Monday to ascertain their details for possible support.

They have already written to their district chairpersons to compile the lists from their area and send them to the party headquarters for necessary help.

FDC party lawyers are ready to provide legal representations for the political prisoners facing minor charges.

Meanwhile, Muntu demanded the withdraw of all security personnel from FDC headquarters and an internationally backed independent audit of the 2016 election.

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