03:20 am
25 October 2016

Uganda Opposition Leader Besigye Flown To Top Security Prison, After Treason Charge In Remote Court

UGANDAN opposition leader Kizza Besigye was transferred to a high security prison in the capital Kampala on Monday after being charged with treason, court officials said.

Besigye disputed President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in February’s election and has been under house arrest for much of the time since.

On Wednesday Besigye was arrested in the capital Kampala after staging his own swearing-in ceremony and whisked to Moroto, a town in the remote northern Karamoja region of the country, to which the British colonial administration used to banish pro-independence activists,  and subsequently charged.

A helicopter returned him to the capital’s top security Luzira prison on Monday.

“He has been transferred,” Uganda justice spokesman Solomon Muyita said. He is next expected in court on May 25.

Treason is a capital offence in Uganda, but the death penalty has not been carried out for years. Besigye was charged with treason in 2005 though the case against him was eventually dropped.

A long-standing opponent of Museveni, Besigye has been frequently jailed, placed under house arrest, accused of both treason and rape, tear-gassed, beaten and hospitalised over the years.

Museveni, who has been in power for three decades, was declared winner of the poll with 61 percent of the vote. He has rejected claims his victory was won through cheating and fraud.