Ugandan pop star MP Bobi Wine arrested on arrival: lawyer

Ugandan pop star opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu was escorted by police to his home after arriving back in the country on Thursday but he was not under arrest, a police official said.

The official, who was not authorised to speak on the record, told Reuters news agency that Ssentamu, a prominent critic of President Yoweri Museveni, was “just being taken home”.

Earlier his US-based lawyer Robert Amsterdam said on Twitter that the singer was “unlawfully detained by military officers” after the musician arrived home from the United States. 

Ssentamu had sought treatment in the US for injuries allegedly sustained during state torture, which Uganda’s government denies.

Police arrested the singer’s brother and at least two other people who were driving to the airport, without explanation, lawyer Asuman Basalirwa said.

The singer, who won a national assembly seat last year, faces treason charges over his alleged role in an incident last month in which the president’s convoy was pelted with stones. He denies wrongdoing.

The 36-year old musician-turned-lawmaker, is widely seen as posing a significant challenge to Museveni, who has ruled the East African country since 1986.

His message – that young Ugandans need a dynamic new head of state to tackle the myriad problems they face – has electrified citizens who say they are fed up with corruption, unemployment, and state repression of dissent.

The government denies allegations of corruption and of stifling opposition.

Security forces sealed off roads and erected barricades around Entebbe airport leading up to his return. Helicopters flew overhead.

Authorities banned rallies to welcome Ssentamu home.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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