National Unity Platform (NUP) Presidential Candidate Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert alias Bobi Wine on Thursday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate one of his opponents and incumbent president Yoweri Museveni and senior officials for alleged human rights abuses.
While addressing an online press conference from his car, Mr Kyagulanyi said his lawyer had already filed the case to the court.
Apart from Museveni, Kyagulanyi wants the ICC to investigate Security Minister Elly Tumwine and eight other senior security officials. In the files submitted, Kyagulanyi cites incidents dating back to 2018, alleging that the police and military have deployed “widespread use of shoot to kill, beatings and other violence.”
Without committing to investigate, the ICC have reportedly said it would look at the material and see what happens next.
“As we do with all such communications, we will analyse the materials submitted, as appropriate, in accordance with the Rome Statute and with full independence and impartiality,” the office of the ICC prosecutor is quoted by some international media outlets.
However, Mr Kyagulanyi’s conference which was being conducted by use of zoom, was ended prematurely when police confronted him and directed him to move his car.
In a blink of an eye, he was dragged from the car despite continuously pleading that he had broken no law.
“I am not even allowed to park on the side of the road,” he said. “Please don’t embarrass our country.”
Police were seen firing tear gas and bullets as they swarmed his car. After being removed from the vehicle, he was allowed to finish the briefing and drive on.
“I expect a live bullet targeted at me any time. The biggest safety we get is from having cameras around us. If I was not on camera maybe something worse would have happened,” he said in the video, wearing a helmet and flak jacket.
Earlier on Thursday, more than twenty supporters and members of Kyagulanyi’s team were arrested by counter terrorism police.
This happened as they were escorting him from Mbale to Namayingo where he held campaigns ahead of next week’s Presidential elections.
The 38-year-old former pop star is being regarded as the main challenger to Museveni and has been arrested multiple times while campaigning for allegedly contravening public order and COVID-19 restrictions.
His rallies are often dispersed with tear gas, rubber bullets, beatings and detentions.
Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, Okello Oryem, told Reuters news agency that his ICC filing was “sheer desperation.”
“(The opposition) have tried everything under the sun, they have failed. Now they are resorting to the ICC. We are a law-abiding country, we are a peace-loving country,” he said.