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Demonstrations in Uganda Following Arrest of Opposition Presidential Candidate

Demonstrations broke out Monday in Kampala, Uganda, after the arrest of opposition leader and presidential candidate Kizza Besigye. Tear gas filled the streets and cars and buildings were set on fire.

Dr. Besigye, who just returned home from a four-year, self-imposed exile in South Africa, is expected to be charged with treason, rape, and association with a rebel military group in the Democratic Republic of Congo that’s trying to topple the government of President Yoweri Museveni, the People’s Redemption Army. Dr. Besigye returned to Uganda three weeks ago and is expected to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in elections next March.

English to Africa reporter Howard Lesser asked Jemera Rone, counsel in the Washington, D.C., office of Human Rights Watch, if Uganda’s judicial system can be expected to help resolve the dilemma of having the country’s only recognized political challenger running for office while he is behind bars.