Joint Local Statement of Partners for Democracy and Governance Group (PDG) on Arrest of Human Rights Activists in Uganda | 23 December 2020
The following PDG Group members issue this statement: Denmark (PDG Chair), Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK, USA, and the EU.
We are concerned by yesterday’s arrests of four prominent human rights champions, including renowned lawyer, Mr. Nicholas Opiyo. Mr. Opiyo is one of the many Ugandan citizens whose professionalism has helped build Uganda’s international reputation.
We strongly emphasize the right of every Ugandan citizen to a due process including swift arraignment and formal notification of the charges, thorough investigations by national authorities as well as orderly access to legal representation, family and health professionals. If no charges are to be brought then we call for their immediate release.
Human rights defenders play an important role in every country and should be able to work without fear of arrest or reprisals, wherever they are.