In a noteworthy move, Prince Kassim Nakibinge the titular head of the Muslim community in Uganda has joined the swelling clamour demanding the release of all political prisoners.

Amidst mounting calls for governmental transparency and respect for fundamental freedom, Prince Nakibinge’s advocacy for the release of political detainees marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing dialogue surrounding civil liberties. This significant position also emphasizes the mounting pressure on the government to address human rights issues and advance political inclusion.

In a heartfelt speech during the Idi prayers at Kibuli Mosque on Wednesday Prince Nakibinge called on the government to seriously consider the release of Ugandans who have been wrongfully imprisoned because of their political beliefs.

He took a moment to contemplate solemnly and stressed how important it is to recognize the predicament of those who are imprisoned merely for voicing their political opinions.

“It has been almost three years since the last general election in Uganda, and there are still two years to go until the next one. We would like to appeal to the authorities in Uganda to release all political prisoners who have been in jail for the past three years,” he said.

Prince Nakibinge’s support for this cause, as a well-known individual with considerable power, highlights how urgent it is to address the situation of those who are wrongfully imprisoned because of their political convictions.

The issue of political prisoners has continued to be a recurring subject in the media, especially for those associated with opposing political parties. Unfortunately, the state has continuously upheld its strict grip over these citizens who are incarcerated, prolonging their illegal detention and raising concerns about human rights breaches despite intense attention and advocacy activities.

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Parliamentarians from the opposition have worked nonstop to achieve the release of political prisoners, using a variety of tactics and avenues to push for their liberation. These attempts, though continuous, have been met with frustration since the state is unwavering in its unwillingness to award these people clemency.

Two weeks ago, in response to a request by Masaka NUP councillor Ali Katerega, the recently appointed Minister of Youth, Balaam Barugahara, pledged to assist in the release of all political prisoners. This vow was echoed by the president. There has been no real progress in tabling the names of people who have vanished because of their political beliefs, despite attempts to do so.

These political prisoners were taken into custody during the General election campaigns because they were wearing red berets, which the state considered to be a military uniform. Some also suffered from kidnapping and torture at the hands of security personnel. A tiny percentage have been released, but most are still being held, which highlights continuous worries about their arbitrary detention and protracted incarceration.

The General Court-Martial is still trying many political prisoners connected to the NUP in violation of the law, even after the Constitutional Court’s decision last year to stop the military court from prosecuting civilians was overturned. This flagrant disobedience to the law emphasizes the unbridled power that the state possesses, continuing a troubling trend of human rights abuses and weakening the rule of law.

As a political party, the National Unity Platform has actively sought the release of its arrested supporters on bail; nevertheless, the military court has regularly denied or watered down their petitions. This ongoing blockage begs the important question: Will the Minister for Youth Balaam get over the numerous obstacles preventing these political prisoners from being released?

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The post Prince Nakibinge asks government to set free all political prisoners appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

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