Uganda: Delays leave human rights lawyer in prison without bail

28/12/20

Ugandan officials today extended the pre-trial detention of human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo by scheduling his case in the courtroom of a judge without authority to grant him bail.

Opiyo was arrested Dec. 22 on charges of money laundering and was remanded to prison over the Christmas weekend.

He appeared by video today in a Kampala magistrate’s court where the presiding officer had no jurisdiction to receive his plea or grant him release on bail. Currently he is to remain in Kitalya Maximum Security Prison at least until Jan.  11, when a further court hearing is scheduled.

Opiyo’s lawyers have applied for bail in the High Court. A bail hearing there has been set for Dec. 30.

Chapter Four, the human rights advocacy organization that Opiyo leads, stated that US $340,000 that police labeled “proceeds of crime” in their money-laundering charge were simply “a grant from one of Chapter Four’s reputable recurring and long-standing donors who legally support Chapter Four’s work of promoting and protecting human rights.”

Opiyo and Chapter Four are longtime supporters of LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda. Opiyo also represents presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), who seeks to unseat Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in next month’s election.

Numerous human rights organizations have issued statements of support for Opiyo and have called for his release.

[…]

https://chapterfouruganda.org/articles/2020/12/28/5th-statement-frivolous-charges-against-nicholas-opiyo

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/court-remands-nicholas-opiyo-again-3241454

https://www.33bedfordrow.co.uk/insights/news/uk-human-rights-lawyers-call-upon-uk-foreign-office-to-press-for-immediate-release-of-ugandan-human-rights-lawyer-nicholas-opiyo

https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-the-government-of-uganda-must-end-intimidation-and-immediately-release-nicholas-opiyo (SIGN THE PETITION!)

https://www.voaswahili.com/a/uganda-mgombea-urais-anyunyuziwa-pilipili-machoni-waandishi-wa-habari-wagoma/5715823.html (SWAHILI)

https://www.maenner.media/gesellschaft/ausland/uganda-free-Nicholas-Opiyo/ (DEUTSCH)

Image may contain: text that says "PRODUCTION WARRANT FOCOOANDMYOOONI U.C. FORM10 OF PUBLIC PROSECUTION ANTICODDI DTION UNIT 11:3 28 DEC 2020 THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA ECEIVE Me onrOr ANTI-CORRUPTION DIVISION KOLOLO HCT-AC-CM-0050-2020 OPIYO UGANDA(DPP) VS TO: PPLICANT THE OFFICER INCHARGE KITALYA PRISONS :RESPONDENT You are hereby directed to produce OPIYO NICHOLAS via video conferencing in Court Room NO:1 at High Court Building, Kampala before Hon. Lady Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga on 30th day of December 2020 at 09:00am. Dated at Kampala 28th Day of December 2020 DEPUTY REGISTRAR ANTI CORRUPTIONDIVISION CORRUPTION"

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