Bobi Wine's Lawyer Says His Health Is 'In Dire State' Following First Court Appearance
The Ugandan artist and opposition lawmaker appeared in court on Thursday, where he was charged with "illegal possession of arms."
UPDATE 8/16/18: Bobi Wine appeared in a military court today, where his charges were reduced from treason to illegal possession of arms, though music executive and friend of Wine, Rikki Stein, tells OkayAfrica that the hotel manager where Wine was staying in Aura claims "categorically" that there were no weapons found in Wine's room.
He is being remanded in custody until next week Thursday.
According to one of Wine's lawyer, Asuman Basalirwa who was present during the arraignment, Wine had been badly beaten while in police custody and was unable to walk properly.
His other lawyer Medard Segona went into further detail about Wine's condition following his court appearance. He is quoted in the Daily Monitor as saying:
Mr Kyagulanyi's health is in dire state. He is in great pain. He can't talk, he can't walk, he sits with a lot of difficulty, his face is swollen and he cannot see because of the torture by SFC soldiers. He couldn't speak when the charges were read to him and I believe he didn't know what was going or understood the charges read to him.
According to Segona, Wine was unable to take a plea due to his condition.
Kassiano Wadri the by-election candidate who Wine was in Aura supporting, who was also arrested alongside Wine, has won the election.
Continue for yesterday's story:
Ugandan politician and musician Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, has been charged with treason, following a deadly clash with Ugandan police forces in Aura on Monday that left his driver dead.
There are also reports that Wine is currently in the hospital receiving treatment, reports Africa News.
The artist and lawmaker was arrested on Tuesday along with several other legislators and opposition supporters, following a run-In that occurred at a by-election campaign where Wine and Uganda's president Museveni were supporting opposing candidates. Police forces claimed that stones were pelted at the Presidents vehicle, causing the police to intervene with bullets and teargas.
Wine was barricaded in his hotel room for several hours on Monday before being taken into custody. Police spokesperson Josephine Angucia announced that Wine along with by-election candidate Kassiano Wadri will be charged with malicious damage to the motor vehicle belonging to the convoy of the President, unlawful possession of firearms and treason.
Authorities claim that both men were carrying heavy ammunition with them upon being arrested. Police claim to have collected "75 rounds of ammunition, 46 white tablets suspected to be drugs, Ugandan flags, red t-shirts and smartphones among other items found in the rooms of the legislators at Aura Pacific Hotel."
Wine is set to appear in court tomorrow.
Since winning a seat in parliament in 2017, Wine has been the target of harassment from the Ugandan government, but this appears to be the most serious incident thus far.
Many have expressed support for the 35-year-old MP online, stating that they believe that he has once again been unfairly targeted by Museveni, who is known to use force and violence to suppress the opposition. Supporters of Wine are demanding that he be freed immediately using the hashtags #ReleaseBobiWine and #FreeBobiWine.