Detained Ugandan satirical novelist tortured during detention: Lawyer | News

His lawyer said that Rukirabashija, the author of a satirical novel about corruption and greed, is currently in solitary confinement.

His lawyer said that Ugandan satirical novelist and critic Yoweri Museveni and his son were tortured in captivity.

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who won the PEN Pinter Award for the International Author of Courage​​, was arrested on December 28 and has not been charged in any court.

On Wednesday, lawyer Eron Kiiza said that Rukirabashija showed signs of torture when security officers took him to his home on Monday to search for evidence.

“He seems to be vomiting, he is urinating, there are torture marks on his legs and feet, he is very painful,” Kiiza told Reuters.

Kiiza added that Rukirabashija has not been allowed visits by his lawyer or relatives since his arrest.

On Tuesday, the court issued an order requiring the police and other security agencies to show Rukirabashija in court.

Kiiza said he knew that the novelist was detained in a facility managed by the Special Forces Command, an elite military unit formerly commanded by Museveni’s son and responsible for special tasks including protecting the president.

Criticism of Museveni

Rukirabashaija has written several books, including his famous “The Greedy Barbarian”, which is a satirical novel about a fictional country that solves the problems of corruption and greed.

This novel is widely circulated in Uganda and reflects the political life of the 77-year-old Museveni and his government.

He has been criticizing Museveni, who has ruled the country since 1986, and his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, a military general widely believed to succeed his father as the presidency.

A few days before his arrest, Rukirabashija called Kainerugaba “stubborn” and “full” in a tweet and condemned the so-called plan to let him inherit his father.

After his arrest, the International PEN issued a statement stating, “I was worried about his safety and well-being because the security forces continued to detain him in solitary confinement and did not file charges in court.”

“Criticism of those in power is not a crime. Romana Cacchioli, the executive director of PEN International, said in a statement: “The frightening thing is that Kakwenza Rukilabsha Ija faces the country again. Harassment, because he is very critical of his country’s first family. “

On Tuesday, the London-based organization welcomed the judicial department’s order to “immediately and unconditionally release Kakwenza Rukira, who has been held in unlawful solitary confinement since December 21, 28 and was reportedly tortured during detention.”

In the past two years, Rukirabashija has been arbitrarily arrested and held in solitary confinement twice.

In April 2020, he was arrested at home and detained for 7 days. PEN International stated that “although the entire interrogation was reported to be about the content of his novel, he appeared in court on April 21, 2020 and was accused of violating COVID-19 health regulations.”

He was arrested again in September 2020 and was asked about his second book, which described the torture he suffered during his first detention.