Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has broken silence on circumstances under which he was arrested, saying he was tortured by soldiers who broke into his hotel room in Arua in Monday.
Bobi made the revelations today Friday while meeting with officials of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) who visited him at Makindye Military Barracks in Kampala.
The team which was led by UHRC boss Meddie Kaggwa comprised officials from the Commission, Hon Kyagulanyi’s family including his wife, relatives and friends and his lawyers who were able to see the MP and had a discussion with him.
The Commission observed that he had a swollen face, was in pain and required support to walk.
“It was also observed that he had difficulty in sitting and breathing upon which he informed us that he felt pain in his rib cage and that he was bruised all over the body,” said Kaggwa.
Hon. Kyagulanyi informed the team that he had been “severely tortured upon arrest in Arua where uniformed officers broke into his hotel room where in spite of having surrendered, they pounced on him, hit his head with an iron bar, indiscriminately beat and kicked him all over the body until he become unconscious.”
This revelation contrasts remarks by UPDF that Bobi was not tortured in detention.
“UPDF doesn’t torture,” said military spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire.
He said the state of the MPs needs to be ascertained by competent physicians but “could be as a result of the scuffles that ensued in those illegal processions.”
Karemire added: “Once you light a fire, you can never be too sure of how it will all end. Let our Honorable leaders exercise political discipline instead of some of them maligning Security Forces.”
The Commission, however, noted Bobi was receiving medical attention while in custody.
Kaggwa said Bobi was able to “recognize his wife and the people around him and could recount some of the events that happened to him upon arrest, save for those that happened during the time he was unconscious.”
Bobi further informed the Commission that he was being “treated with dignity both while at Gulu and Makindye and that the military officers at Makindye have been very supportive.”
At the time of the visit, the army was planning to take him for further medical examination, according to Kaggwa.
Brig Karemire said for whatever condition “Hon Kyagulanyi may be in as result of the whole Arua fracas, UPDF will ensure he receives adequate attention and care now that he is unider its safe custody.”
He further said the musician-turned-politician would be allowed to see his dear ones.
“His family also will be able to visit him as per established procedure,” said Karemire.
The Commission observed that Bobi has been provided with all the necessary requirements while in custody in accordance with Article 23 of the Constitution.
From the discussions held with the authorities, the Commission said it was assured of immediate further medical attention and regular visits by the relatives and lawyers.