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Vol 46 No 23

Published 18th November 2005


Uganda

Tears, fears and a martyr

The arrest of the strongest opposition candidate for the presidency left everyone weeping

Diplomats coughed and wiped their eyes as they left the Chief Magistrate's Court. An ill wind had blown tear-gas past the Court, where the strongest opposition leader, Colonel (retired) Kizza Besigye, faced charges of treason, concealment of treason and rape. Representatives of the United States, Japan and five European Union countries had waited for four hours in the sweltering courtroom; the donors, who contribute around half of Uganda's budget, are disappointed by the arrest but are keeping mum for now. Human Rights Watch, a US-based non governmental organisation, has called for Besigye to receive bail and a fair trial. Ugandans charged with a capital offence such as treason can be held for up to twelve months without bail.

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