REITERATED CALL: Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

Global rights body, Amnesty International (AI) has reiterated its demand to have all charges against Makerere University researcher and activist, Stella Nyanzi, dropped.

Responding to news that the outspoken feminist academic had been released on bail after four weeks in prison, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said: “It is a great relief that Stella Nyanzi is no longer behind bars, as she should never have been arrested in the first place. The government’s attempt to prosecute her for speaking out for the rights of Uganda’s women and girls is an affront to freedom of expression.

Ms. Jackson added: “The authorities must now let common sense prevail by immediately and unconditionally dropping all the charges against her. The continuation of this farcical case blatantly violates Uganda’s constitution, and its regional and international human rights obligations.”

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Nyanzi appeared in court today and was granted bail. However, she was in a frail state, one of the reasons her lawyers fronted to seek for bail.

Stella Nyanzi is charged under the Computer Misuse Act of 2011 over her posts on her social media statements, including one where she referred to President Yoweri Museveni as ‘a pair of buttocks’. She denies any wrongdoing.

She had also criticized the First Lady and Education Minister, Janet Museveni, for her ministry’s failure to provide sanitary towels to all girls in public schools. This was a promise made by Museveni as he campaigned for a fifth term in office in 2015.

Her next court appearance will be on May 25.