'No Part of My Body Was Spared,' Bobi Wine Recounts Torture By Ugandan Troops
The artist and politician took to Facebook to recount the torture he endured at the hands of military troops, and thank his supporters.
Ugandan lawmaker and pop star, Bobi Wine has spoken out about the events that led to his arrest on August 13 and the state of his health for the first time, in an open letter entitled "What Exactly Happened in Aura? My Story!"
The artist who is currently in the United States seeking medical treatment for injuries he sustained while in military custody, took to Facebook to share a post, detailing his own account of what happened during the bi-election rally in Aura. He recounted the events prior to his arrest, which left his driver Yasin Kawuma dead, gave an update on his health, and thanked his many international supporters for the well wishes he's received.
"I am sorry I have taken a bit long to write to you about the trials and tribulations, for which you all stood with me," wrote Wine. "It's been tough days, as I recover form the physical and mental trauma I endured. I am overwhelmed by your support and words of encouragement. I cannot pay you in any other way except by sticking to those values that bind all of us together-justice, equality and human dignity."
He went on to describe the abuse he suffered at the hands of military officers while in custody. "They beat me, punched me, and kicked me with their boots. No part of my body was spared. They hit my eyes, mouth and nose. They hit my elbows and my knees. Those guys are heartless," he added.
The Ugandan government continues to deny Wine's claims, with President Yoweri Museveni calling them "fake news."
Wine originally faced a charge of unlawful possession of firearms following his arrest, after police claimed they found three guns in his hotel room. Wine denied that the guns were his, and says that it was an attempt by the military to frame him. I was told that three guns had been assembled and said to have been found in my room! I could not believe that the state would torture a Ugandan so bad and then frame him with possession of guns!"
The charge was eventually dropped, however, the singer is now being tried for treason in a civilian court, along with 32 others who were arrested after the by-election rally—many of whom he says were also tortured by troops, leading some to sustain permanent injuries.
"My next communication will be a vote of thanks to the world for the overwhelming support and comradeship," Wine added. I will also talk about what I think we must do together to continue this struggle for liberty and freedom."
Wine is set to reappear in court on October 1.