The National Unity Platform (NUP) Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya has defended the party’s decision to condemn the arrest of controversial blogger Fred Lumbuye.
Lumbuye was reportedly arrested in Turkey from where he was broadcasting his hard hitting youtube and Facebook videos targeting government of Uganda and Buganda Kingdom officials.
Its alleged that unknown people arrested Lumbuye and his whereabouts are yet to be unearthed up to date. The blogger is wanted in Uganda on hateful propaganda against President Museveni’s government.
Lumbuye is the blogger who announced Kabaka Mutebi of Buganda and President Museveni dead, leading to speculation on the health of the principals.
Since his alleged arrest, the leadership of NUP headed by Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and the party supporters have been condemning the act using various social media platforms. They have since called for his immediate release.
“For now, we are working around the clock to establish the facts, and I am grateful to all those who are doing everything to support his case, including our diaspora leadership teams. Our leadership team at home has also engaged the Turkish Embassy on the matter,” Bobi Wine said on Wednesday.
“We all must be very concerned about this development, because as we know many Ugandans only feel safe to criticise the regime in Uganda from a safe distance in countries abroad. The governments of the world ought to protect the rights of political dissidents and exiles who have sought refuge in their countries. Ugandans abroad ought to feel safe,”he added.
However, the party’s call to have Lumbuye freed has sparked mixed reactions from a section of the the general public who perceive the blogger as criminal who has turned blackmail, hate speech and propaganda his daily meal.
This has forced Rubongoya to come out and clarify on the matter.
He says they are defending Lumbuye not because he is a perfect person or they entirely agree with everything he does but all they want is that the blogger is not handed over to a criminal regime which he claims is well known for torturing critics.
Read Rubongoya’s submission:
We are not saying that Fred Lumbuye is a perfect person. We are not even saying that he has not made some mistakes in the course of his work. In fact, we do not necessarily agree with everything he does.
All we are saying is that he should not be handed over to a criminal regime which is well known for torturing critics!
All we are saying is that he is a known critic of the regime in Uganda and the regime has been baying for his blood. To deport him to Uganda would be to sentence him to death.
All we are saying is that he cannot get a free and fair trial in Uganda, in a system where political opponents are subjected to kangaroo military trials, held incommunicado and denied access to lawyers.
All we are saying is that if Fred Lumbuye is handed over to the regime in Kampala, that will send shock and fear within Ugandan dissidents and political activists everywhere in the world.
All we are saying is that if Turkey hands over Fred Lumbuye to Kampala, it will embolden the regime to go about hunting and hurting the hundreds of Ugandans who sought refuge in countries elsewhere.
All we are saying is that despite some flaws, Fred Lumbuye is only able to loudly criticise the regime in Uganda because he knows the fate of those who have tried to do that from home.
All we are saying is that we do not have to necessarily agree with everything you do for us to fight for your rights and freedoms. In fact, we have gone as far as fighting for the rights of those who have even persecuted us.
All we are saying is that people who run away from their countries over political disagreements must be accorded protection under international law.
In short, we are saying that if Lumbuye has committed any offences under Turkish laws, he should be tried in Turkey and not handed over to a regime which has made a name for violating the rights and freedoms of those it lays its hands on.
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