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Court Martial Bail Application Hearing for 28 Jailed NUP Supporters Raises Concerns

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The 28 jailed National Unity Platform supporters

(Kampala, Uganda) – A hearing for the bail application of 28 jailed National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters at the court-martial in Makindye has raised significant concerns among political analysts and human rights organizations. The suspects, arrested in May 2021 on suspicion of possessing ammunition, which is a monopoly of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), have been at the center of a contentious legal battle.

The presence of several NUP members, including MPs led by the Leader of Opposition, Joel Ssenyonyi, ready to stand as sureties for the suspects underscores the solidarity within the opposition and broader civil society in Uganda. Their willingness to vouch for the suspects’ release has also brought attention to the case’s potential political implications.

Critics argue that the arrests and detentions of the NUP supporters are emblematic of a broader crackdown on political dissent in Uganda. Allegations of abductions and extrajudicial killings of political activists have further exacerbated concerns about the state of human rights and democracy in the country.

As the court-martial prepares to hear the bail application, analysts emphasize the need for a fair and impartial hearing, consistent with principles of due process and the rule of law. The international community, including human rights organizations, will closely monitor the proceedings to ensure that the rights of the accused are respected and that any allegations of human rights violations are thoroughly investigated.

While the outcome of the bail application remains uncertain, the case has reignited discussions about the state of human rights and democracy in Uganda. It is crucial that the government takes concrete steps to address these concerns and uphold its obligations under international law.

Reporting from Kampala, this is CMP News.

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