Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has issued an order directing the immediate release of Obed Katureebe who remains in illegal detention since 2nd May 2022.
The July 4 release order is signed by UHRC chairperson, Mariam Wangadya.
It is addressed to Maj Gen James Birungi, the Commandant of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
“Whereas Obed Katureebe has been in your custody since the 2nd day of May 2022 and whereas the Commission is satisfied that the said person is being unlawfully detained and/or restricted. This is to direct you to cause the immediate release of the said Obed Katureebe from your custody forthwith failure of which you may be liable for contempt under Article 53(1) (d) of the Constitution,” reads the release order.
Obed Katureebe, an official at the Uganda Media Centre, was arrested for allegedly operating a Facebook Page that is critical of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and detained by CMI at its facility in Mbuya.
An information peddler claimed “it was true” that Obed was running “Gakwerere”, a Facebook page that criticizes the Rwandan government and its leader.
This is after the Rwanda government had severally made similar accusations over the last 3 years.
The Uganda Media Centre Public Affairs Officer was picked by CMI from his Kyanja home at the start of this month.
Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, said Obed was “under protection for his own safety” from those who wished him harm.
Rwandans had been trolling him claiming he runs Gakwerere.
Following UPDF Land Forces Commander Lt Gen Muhoozi’s visit to Kigali, Rwanda Government Spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, named Obed among “known hostile persons bent on destabilizing Rwanda, still operating in Uganda”.
“Also pending is continued hateful media propaganda produced by Uganda-based individuals incl. Obed Katurebe aka RPF Gakwerere, Sula Nuwamanya, Gerald Tindifa, Robert Higiro, Asiimwe Kanamugire, etc. We patiently await action by Ugandan authorities on this unfinished business,” she tweeted.
Interestingly, the page continued to actively post even when Obed was under arrest.
Gakwerere is an old Facebook account that was initially run under the name ‘RPF Gakwerere’. RPF is short for Rwanda Patriotic Front, Rwanda’s ruling party.