The United States is concerned about Uganda’s deteriorating human rights record. Recently the Ugandan government has failed to respect freedoms of expression, assembly, and the media, as well as its commitment to protect the human rights of all Ugandans.
In April and May of this year, Ugandan security forces killed at least ten civilians, including a two-year old girl, while attempting to disrupt peaceful protests against rising prices. To prevent renewed protests in October, police preemptively arrested several dozen opposition and civil society activists and placed opposition leader Kizza Besigye under house arrest. Police charged several of those arrested with the capital offenses of treason and concealment of treason, even though the legal basis for such charges is questionable. On October 31, police again arrested Besigye for attempting to walk to work. In October, the Ugandan government also urged Parliament to adopt draft legislation severely limiting public meetings of three persons or more. This legislation specifically references meetings where participants discuss government principles, policies, and actions, and appears to target opposition and civil society organizations critical of the government.
The United States continues to urge the elected Government of Uganda to protect the rights of all of its citizens, including minority groups.