Ugandan novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was detained again despite release order; says his lawyer. Kakwenza was arrested in December for allegedly offending President Museveni and his son on Twitter.
The novelist’s lawyers say, “their client was charged with insulting the President and his son and unlawfully detained in defiance of a court order for his release issued just hours earlier on Tue, 25th January .
Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was expected to be released on Tuesday after a court in Kampala had granted him bail and ordered that he not speak to reporters before the conclusion of his trial.
His lawyer Eron Kiiza said that instead of being freed, the writer was “kidnapped” from prison by men in plain clothes and taken to an unknown location.
“About four hours after (Tuesday’s) court hearing, armed men in plain clothes came to the prison and took Kakwenza away, we believe to SFC headquarters in Entebbe,” he told AFP news agency, referring to the Special Forces Command unit of Uganda’s national defense force.
Reacting to the news, PEN International released a statement on Twitter saying it was “deeply disturbed” by the event and that it feared for the writer’s life. It added that the organisation held the president and his son responsible for such “flagrant abuse of office”.
PEN International is a writers organization in definition; they defend “Free Expression” and Protect writers at Risk. And Rukirabashaija won the PEN Pinter Prize “International Writer of Courage award” last year.