Ugandan independent MP and musician Bobi Wine, who has been detained on charges of the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, has hired a U.S law firm, lawyer Robert Amsterdam says in a statement.
Mr. Amsterdam described his client’s arrest as a “politically motivated act of repression” and alleges that he has been tortured in custody.
“Mr. Kyagulanyi’s arrest was not only a politically motivated act of repression, but furthermore he has since been subjected to inhuman and horrific acts of torture by the Ugandan security services from which it is possible he may never recover,” said Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP.
“This outrageous and reprehensible act of state aggression – an episode not seen since the days of Idi Amin – requires a robust and broad response from the international community to secure his safety and to bring his torturers to account.”
The army, which is holding Wine, denies that he has been tortured and President Yoweri Museveni has dismissed the claims as “fake news”.
Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, won a by-election last year.
He has been held since last week, along with four fellow MPs and dozens of others. They were campaigning in a bitterly contested by-election in Arua in the North of the country. Wine is due to appear in court on Thursday.
Mr. Amsterdam is recommending that the U.S should “hit [government] officials in their wallets with a Magnitsky-style sanctions schedule as they need to understand the consequences of this attack on human rights”.
The U.S Magnitsky Act allows Congress to impose sanctions on human rights abusers anywhere in the world.