Ugandan opposition figure charged over 'unlawful society'

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2013 1:57 PM
Ugandan opposition figure charged over 'unlawful society'

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Leading Ugandan opposition figure Kizza Besigye was charged on Thursday with belonging to an unlawful society, a police official said.

Besigye, who has lost three presidential elections, led mass protests in 2011 against Uganda's long-serving president Yoweri Museveni. The demonstrators complained of vote-rigging, corruption and excessive prices for basic goods.

"He was produced in court today and charged with belonging to an unlawful society but he asked for bail and the court granted it," Patrick Onyango, a police spokesman told Reuters.

Besigye has in the past threatened to use Arab-Spring style street protests to remove Museveni.

Onyango said Besigye belonged to For God and My Country (4GC), a political pressure group which was at the heart of the 2011 protests and allied to Besigye's Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). 4GC was banned after the 2011 protests.

Besigye has been arrested several times at public rallies since the peak of the 2011 protests and although he stepped down last year as leader of FDC, Uganda's biggest opposition party, police have kept him under close scrutiny.

He was detained along with Kampala mayor, Erias Lukwago, on Tuesday evening as he addressed supporters in the capital.

(Editing by Drazen Jorgic/Ruth Pitchford)