Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, was arrested on Wednesday alongside members of his campaign team in the country’s central region, according to a post shared by an administrator on his official Twitter account.
“Bobi Wine and his entire campaign team arrested in Kalangala! Media blocked,” the tweet said.
No further details of their arrest have yet been made available.
Wine is challenging incumbent President Yoweri Museveni – who has been in power for more than 30 years – in January 14 elections.
The presidential candidate has accused Museveni of being a dictator responsible for human rights abuses, after at least 45 people were killed in protests last month sparked by Wine’s earlier arrest for contravening coronavirus regulations at a campaign rally.
He said one of his bodyguards was run over and killed Sunday by a military police truck, while the guard was taking a journalist to the hospital.
A spokesperson for the Ugandan military denied Wine’s bodyguard had been targeted.
In an interview with CNN earlier this month, Wine said he had nearly been killed on two occasions in recent weeks and urged the international community to hold Uganda’s government accountable ahead of elections next month.
While authorities have said the restrictions are necessary to curb the spread of Covid-19, opposition members and their supporters say they are an excuse to limit campaigning before the election.
United Nations human rights experts on Tuesday released a statement expressing serious concerns about the violence ahead of Uganda’s presidential election. They urged authorities to “put an end to the arrest, detention and judicial harassment of political opponents, civil society leaders and human rights defenders.”
Nicholas Opiyo, a prominent human rights activist, was arrested along with four other individuals on December 23. He is accused of money laundering and will be tried accordingly, a statement from authorities said.
“Since the publication of the guidelines on the conduct of elections during Covid-19 in June by the Uganda Electoral Commission, we have witnessed gradual shrinking of civic space, and misuse and abuse of health-related restrictions to curb dissent in the country ahead of the election on 14 January,” said the UN experts.