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Government of Uganda

Climate warning

Ugandan climate activists face charges after a month in maximum security jail

Eleven Ugandan climate activists who were allegedly beaten and held arbitrarily in a notorious maximum security prison will appear in court on Wednesday charged with a colonial era anti-dissident offense, as reprisals continue against opponents of an internationally bankrolled oil pipeline. If convicted, the 11 activists, all university students, face up to a year in jail. Four of them – Nicholas Lutabi, Jacob Lubega, Shafik Kalyango and Abdul Aziz Bwete – were allegedly arrested and beaten by police armed with guns, teargas and batons as they marched peacefully towards parliament in the capital city, Kampala, on 15 December. They were targeted after becoming separated from a larger protest calling on the Uganda government to stop construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop), a $5bn fossil-fuel project backed by the French conglomerate TotalEnergies and a Chinese national oil company, as well as the governments of Uganda and Tanzania. The climate activists said they were forced into an unmarked building within the parliament entrance, where the police officers repeatedly kicked, punched and beat them with heavy objects. It is the same place and same abusive treatment reported by at least two dozen anti-pipeline activists over the past two years. ‘Very disturbing’: crackdown on oil pipeline protests in Uganda concerns UN rights expert Read more Kalyango, 25, was knocked unconscious after being hit on the back of the neck, and woke up in a locked room 10 or 15 minutes later, according to his colleagues. “I am weak and have pain in my neck and in the stomach when I eat. I’m still not OK,” Kalyango said in an interview more than a month after the arrest. “This was punishment for trying to stop the Total project that will cause so much harm in the future.”

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  • johnte ndeto

    8 w

    Shame on Ugandan government

    1
    • George Kariuki

      9 w

      It is disheartening to see the heavy-handed tactics used by authorities to suppress dissent and silence voices calling for sustainable and responsible development.

      3
      • Rotich Kim

        9 w

        This is unfair to climate activists they need to be given out freedom to wear out climate

        5
        • dickson mutai

          9 w

          A gross injustice!

          3
          • Jane Wangui

            9 w

            @dickson_mutai This raises questions about Ugandas justice system

            2
          • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

            9 w

            The situation faced by the Ugandan climate activists is deeply troubling and highlights the ongoing challenges faced by those advocating for environmental protection and climate action. The use of colonial-era laws to suppress dissent and peaceful protest is unacceptable and goes against fundamental human rights. The reported violence and abuse inflicted upon these activists, including arbitrary arrest and physical assault, are egregious violations of their rights and must be condemned in the strongest terms. It is essential that the Ugandan government respects the rights of individuals to peacefully express their concerns about projects with potential environmental and social impacts, such as the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline. The international community must stand in solidarity with these activists and call for their charges to be dropped immediately, while also demanding accountability for those responsible for their mistreatment.

            3
            • Princess

              9 w

              Their unwavering dedication to protecting the environment deserves support and recognition, not persecution.

              5
              • Munene Mugambi

                9 w

                This is a sham, why would they do this when one is looking out for the planet's welfare?

                6
                • Joseph Githinji

                  9 w

                  This is shameful of Ugandan government, the courts must be ready to set a good precedence and protect the interests of climate defenders.

                  6
                  • Rotich Kim

                    9 w

                    Uganda government should allows citizens to protest and fight for climate justice

                    6
                    • Teo Babić

                      9 w

                      This is so sad.. the bravery of the activists is admirable, they are a great example for us all

                      10
                      • Felix mokaya

                        9 w

                        Shame on you Ugandan government!

                        8
                        • Andy Middleton

                          9 w

                          When governments are in collaboration with fossil fuel interests, in the form of beating peaceful protesters, it’s clear that laws have to change worldwide. The true criminals are those continuously, pushing to extract more fossil fuels, not those of us who protest.

                          12
                          • Jane Wangui

                            9 w

                            @andy_middleton I thought peaceful protests should go both ways.

                            2
                            • Jane Wangui

                              9 w

                              @jane_wangui I mean like the protesters are doing it peaceful and the "law keepers" should not inflict harm or pain on them.

                              2
                            • Felix mokaya

                              9 w

                              Climate activists should not be treated as criminals .This is very bad move taken by Ugandan government

                              7
                              • Bel Jacobs

                                9 w

                                Disgraceful and frightening. Peaceful protestors beaten and jailed for trying to protect nature and earth systems. Campaigners around the world should target Total Energies in response

                                6
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