Jailed Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) has hired on retainer a US based law firm named Amsterdam & Partners LLP, following his arrest on August 14th and detention at the Makindye Military Barracks.
The law firm through its founder Robert Amsterdam confirmed the development, in a statement in which they sternly condemned the manner in which the MP and his colleagues were arrested and treated in Arua last week.
These went on to threaten pursuing sanctions against Ugandan officials involved in what they called “inhuman and horrific acts of torture”
The acts by Ugandan security officials, Mr Amsterdam said, require “a robust and broad response from the international community.”
“The situation for Mr. Kyagulanyi is profoundly grave, immediate, and deserving of urgent action and intervention,” said Amsterdam.
The situation in Kampala is rapidly deteriorating as security forces are firing live rounds on protesters demanding release of Bobi Wine @HEBobiwine. Stay tuned for latest announcements on international action by our legal team. pic.twitter.com/adGIo3A39m
— Robert Amsterdam (@robertamsterdam) August 20, 2018
“When a state behaves with this level of impunity and violence, there are few statements or resolutions that will stop them from the murder of an innocent opponent like Bobi Wine,” he said.
“That’s why we need to hit these officials in their wallets with a Magnitsky-style sanctions schedule as they need to understand the consequences of this attack on human rights.”
Mr Amsterdam was referring to the Global Magnitsky Act, which was passed by the US Congress in 2016 in honour of the murdered Russian whistle-blower-lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
The law empowers the US executive branch to impose visa bans and targeted sanctions on individuals anywhere in the world responsible for committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.