Human Rights Watch has warned killings by security agencies if demonstrations take place after February 18 presidential elections.
“If protests emerge after the polls, there is a huge risk that protestors and bystanders – including children – will die at the hands of security forces. It has happened before,” reads the statement issued by the global human rights advocacy organization.
There is fear and tension as Ugandans head to the polls February 18 amid a troubling increase in implied and explicit threats against anyone who might intend to protest the outcome.
President Yoweri Museveni is running against seven other candidates, including long-time opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye and former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
The statement mentions the recent remarks by the ruling party Secretary General,Ms Kasule Lumumba, who was recorded telling people in a local language, Luganda, that if people come to protest election results, the state “will kill your children.”
Human Rights Watch says this is a real, not just a mere threat. “Sadly, this is no idle talk. Human rights groups have documented cases of people, including children, killed by security forces during public demonstrations in Uganda in recent years,” says Maria Burnet, the HRW senior Researcher Africa Division.