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Uganda police seize human rights lawyer probing violence

Ugandan police today seized human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo from a restaurant where he was eating, forced him into a van and drove away with him.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Nicholas Opiyo is confronted outside a magistrate court in 2018 in Uganda after attempting to prosecute the country’s chief of police. (Photo courtesy of Nicholas Opiyo)

In a message on its Facebook page, the Uganda Police Force stated that Opiyo was arrested by a “Joint Task team of Security and Financial Intelligence, on allegations of money laundering and related malicious acts.”

“The investigations are progressing well and any new developments will be communicated in due course,” the message continued. “He remains in our custody at the Special Investigations Division.”

Updates on this breaking news story will be published here as they develop.

Opiyo, a strong ally of the LGBTI community in Uganda, is the executive director and lead attorney of Chapter Four Uganda, a human rights advocacy organization.

As an attorney, he represented presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) after Wine’s arrest before a campaign rally on Nov. 18. That arrest sparked widespread violence.

Opiyo said Wine was arrested on a coronavirus violation, but “the actual reason really is that it is part of the broader attempt to stifle opposition campaigns.” He noted that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was also holding political rallies during the same period, but without police interference.

The Chimp Reports news site reported:

National Unity Platform Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Bobi Wine claimed Opiyo was arrested because he was looking into the aftermath of the November 18th protests in which over 50 people were killed.

The protests were sparked by the arrest of the candidate.

Bobi Wine said Opiyo was “abducted by security from restaurant in Kamwokya [a section of Kampala, the capital of Uganda], alongside other lawyers investigating murders of 18th & 19th, Nov. Thrown into private van with tinted glasses and  driven at breakneck speed to unknown destination.”

The Uganda Police Force message about Opiyo was harshly criticized in hundreds of comments on Facebook, including remarks such as:

  • “You’re acting like thugs. We all know you’re trying to steal the evidence he had gathered about the acts of violence you committed on Ugandans on 18th and 19th.”
  • “Since he is a lawyer, why not summon him?”
  • “What is wrong with summoning him to police and take him to court for crimes committed instead of kidnapping?”

The website of Chapter Four Uganda states about Opiyo:

Nicholas Opiyo, executive director of Chapter Four Uganda

He is the recipient of German Africa Prize, 2017, Voices for Justice Award from Human Rights Watch, 2015 and the European Union Parliament Sakharov Fellows Prize, 2016.

He was until March of 2017, a member of the Team of Expert to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Association. He is also a visiting scholar at the Centre for African Studies, Stanford University, CA, USA and the Global Health Program at the University of San Francisco (UCSF), California, USA.

Nicholas is the Board Chair of Action Aid Uganda, a member of the Human Rights Advisory Board BENETECH, a Silicon Valley human rights and tech company based in Palo Alto in California and African Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL), a Washington, DC-based think and action group.


  • comment-avatar
    FREESPIRIT 4 years ago

    This is a correspondence I sent to President Yoweri Museveni last week:

    “Dear Mr.President, YOWERI MUSEVENI…..

    May I remind you, respectfully, of the following:
    According to NATURAL LAW, called “God’s” LAW by Religious people & COMMON LAW, the MAGNA CHARTA ’ which are all derived from NATURAL , “GOD’s” LAW, all of which UGANDA is subject to, meaning the Uganda Constitution PROTECTS the Absolute RIGHTS to LIFE, LIBERTY and Property for UGANDANS. That would include the RIGHT to ASSEMBLE and SPEECH in ANY numbers, without restriction, except to a LAWFUL SUBJECT and ACTIONS, providing they are NOT violating the RIGHTS of other UGANDANS. RIGHTS cannot be QUALIFIED, except surreptitiously by “ACTS” and PROTOCOLS. However, “ACTS “, Protocols, MANDATES and ORDERS are NOT LAWS, as per the Constitution nor COMMON LAW and thus do not need to be obeyed by Ugandans. Police and Soldiers are KILLING people, for obeying their GOD’S LAWS, which killings are SERIOUS UNLAWFUL ACTIONS, AGAINST the RIGHTS of the People under Natural Law, God’s Law, the Magna Charta and the UGANDAN CONSTITUTION, for simply DISOBEYING Government unlawful “ACTS” ! Even donkeys, goats and cattle receive better consideration. Do Soldiers and Police kill those animals when they disobey ?
    Only EVIL PEOPLE, having ulterior MOTIVES and with no obligation nor LOYALTY to UGANDA who are causing or ordering those heinously UNLAWFUL actions, by Authority figures and are giving you VERY BAD ADVICE if they tell you that is okay, because it is not. Do not confuse LEGAL and LAWFUL. “ACTS” for example are LEGAL but NOT LAWFUL, according to “GOD’S “ and COMMON Law, and thus DO NOT need to be obeyed.
    These are the PEOPLE who are advising your Government, in some manner : https://phibetaiota.net/2020/12/mongoose-alert-reader-on-zionism-satanism-threat/?utm_content=12060186&utm_medium=Email&utm_name=Id&utm_source=Actionetics&utm_term=Email and own your BANKS: BANKS OWNED and/or CONTROLLED by House of ROTHSCHILD Zionist Jews : https://phibetaiota.net/2020/11/owl-rothschild-owned-banks-include-world-bank-and-imf-time-to-shut-them-down/?utm_content=11994522&utm_medium=Email&utm_name=Id&utm_source=Actionetics&utm_term=Email
    The UGANDA GOVERNMENT has approached GOOGLE and other INTERNET CORPORATIONS to BAN, or CLOSE UGANDAN NEWS SITES, named : TMO online, Lumbuye Fred, Trending Channel Ug, Uganda Yaffe, Uganda News Updates, Ghetto TV, Busesa Media Updates and Uganda Empya, Map Mediya TV, KK TV, Ekyooto TV, Namungo Media, JB Muwonge 2, and Bobi Wine 2021, and are being asked under the FALSE AUTHORITY of “Communications (Content) Regulation Uganda Communications Act of 2013 and Regulation 8 (2) of the Uganda 2019”.
    “Police beat up journalists covering Bobi Wine campaign trail “ : https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/police-beat-up-journalists-covering-bobi-wine-campaign-trail-3226432
    Obtained From Blog Site AANGIRFAN sourced from “BLACK AGENDA REPORT”: “Coronavirus Protocols as Tools of Repression” in UGANDA and elsewhere, IN AFRICA !
    “During the third week of November, Ugandan military police arrested pop star and presidential challenger Bobi Wine, alleging that his campaign rallies of more than 200 people violated state protocols for stopping the spread of coronavirus. They then shot dead 56 people protesting his arrest and arrested 836 with seeming unconcern that the virus might spread among them in jail.” THAT is further PROOF that HEALTH and a so-called “Virus” are not the REAL CONCERN.
    Mr.President, did you fight, successfully, a REVOLUTION for the PEOPLE of UGANDA, only for someone in your Government to turn the country over to TYRANTS who own your CASINOS, the Bank of Uganda and DESTROY Uganda’s ECONOMY, with NEFARIOUS INTENTS to enslave the People, over a FAKE PANDEMIC ? I prefer to believe you, personally, didn’t.
    Please have your Government change COURSE before it is too late.”

    Freespirit “