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Ugandan Activist Released On Bail After “Common Nuisance” Charge

Nyanzi and two others were arrested while holding a demonstration with placards that had inscriptions calling for the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ugandan activist Dr Stella Nyanzi has been released on bail after being charged with common nuisance.

Nyanzi was arrested at Nakasero market in Kampala city on Wednesday alongside businessmen Godfrey Katongole and Isaac Newton for allegedly behaving in a manner that was likely to inconvenience other people and disregarding guidelines put in place to control the spread of COVID-19.

They were arrested while holding a demonstration with placards that had inscriptions calling for the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown and asking the authorities to desist from using the COVID-19 outbreak to violate human rights.

The three appeared before the Buganda Road Grade one magistrate Joan Acaa Ketty on Thursday and denied the charges. They applied for bail on grounds that the offences against them are bailable.

Their lawyers led by Geoffrey Turyamusiima told the court that one of the accused persons Nyanzi is sick and needs to get medication. The lawyer also told the court that each of the accused persons has the two substantial sureties and qualify for bail.

Nyanzi, the prime suspect presented James Mubiru, a contestant for the Rubaga North parliamentary seat and a friend Umar Mukosa as her sureties. The magistrate granted them a cash bail of Shs 200,000 each.

Nyanzi was released from Luzira prison early this year after the High court quashed an 18-month sentence that was handed to her for insulting the president. Nyanzi has already expressed interest to stand for Kampala Woman MP on the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) ticket.