Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Muwada Nkunyingi has revealed that opposition blogger Fred Lumbuye is being detained at an Immigration Centre in Turkey.
The Turkey based Ugandan blogger was allegedly arrested from the European country at the beginning of August and according to the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem, he was to be repatriated to Uganda before being charged for promoting sectarianism and instigating violence.
In his statement issued on Tuesday, Nkunyingi who also acts as the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs in Parliament, said he had a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador to Uganda today where he confirmed the whereabout of Lumbuye.
“After Uganda Foreign Affairs Ministers today responded in writing to my inquiry on Lumbuye where abouts contained in their response to Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Comittee in which they maintained that Lumbuye is still in Turkey,” Nkunyingi said.
“I thereafter sought meeting and engaged in discussion on Lumbuye this afternoon with the Turkish Ambasador in Uganda Kerem Alp who was accompanied by the Embassy Military/ Security Atachee at the Embassy ,in Kololo Kampala.The Turkish Ambassador Briefed me that Lumbuye is safe, alive and not in Prison because there was and there is no Court Order or any formal running charges against him.”
The legislator added that the Ambasador informed him that the blogger has been offered protection by Turkish Immigration Agency at an Immigration Centre because his Immigration status had expired with no running Turkish Visa.
” Turkish Ambasador assured me that Lumbuye is not detained at any Police Station or Prison in Turkey but being overseen at Immigration Centre in Turkey, alive, okay and well.
“Further Turkish Ambassador Briefed me that Lumbuye was apprehended by Turkish Immigration Agency but has his full rights under Turkish Laws & international Laws which we can fully explore. However the Turkish Ambassador maintained that the Turkish legal system is not as expensive as it’s being reflected in Uganda media because Refugees and asylum seekers from world over regularly and easily use the Turkish Immigration & Court system.”
Nkunyingi further disclosed that the Turkish Ambassador confirmed that indeed Uganda Government, Interpol & Turkish Government have been in talks over Lumbuye since his encounter with Immigration service but that no conclusion or agreement has yet been reached.
“The Turkish Ambasador assured me that Turkey has a long standing history of standing with & welcoming Refugees,Asylum seekers E.T.C from world over and cannot not that easily surrender any person including Lumbuye without due respect to his legal Rights & safety.”
Early this month, Uganda Police confirmed that Lumbuye was not in their custody.
While addressing the media, the force’s spokesperson Fred Enanga said that they however have 15 cases that they will bring against the controversial blogger once he is handed over to them.
“We don’t have Lumbuye but what we have are 15 case files against him. Don’t ask us if he is here or not because we don’t know but as soon as he is handed over to us we are ready, ” Enanga said.
“When he is handed over to us, we shall come out with the full statement. Whether he is in the country or not, as police once he is handed over to us we shall process him with the 15 file cases we have on him,” he added.
The prepared charges he said, include among others spreading harmful propaganda and terrorism videos, inciting violence and other cyber crimes.
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