January 15th, 2021

Ugandan police confront Bobi Wine during online briefing

By Associated Press, The Associated Press on January 7, 2021.

KAMPALA, Uganda – Police in Uganda have confronted opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine during an online press conference, and he says they fired tear gas and bullets as they swarmed his car.

Journalists watched Thursday evening as an officer appeared to drag Wine from the car while he pleaded 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.”

The popular singer and opposition leader was announcing that he is petitioning the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of rights abuses in the East African country ahead of next week’s presidential election. Prosecutors at the ICC receive hundreds such applications each year.

Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has fired the imagination of many across Africa as he tries to unseat longtime President Yoweri Museveni, who has deployed the military to prevent what he sees as opposition attempts to create civil unrest that could cause regime change.

Wine and other opposition figures have called Museveni a dictator. “Many atrocities are being committed on the orders of Museveni,” the singer told reporters.

Government officials did not immediately comment.

The 38-year-old Wine, arrested many times on various charges but never convicted, now says his life may be in danger. He campaigns while wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet.

“I expect a live bullet targeted at me any time,” said Wine, who has sent his children to the United States over safety concerns.

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