Uganda: Elections

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd December 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of evidence that Ugandan police, in the run-up to the election in February 2016, have used live ammunition to disperse opposition gatherings, and have committed other serious human rights violations.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

In our regular dialogue with the Ugandan government we stress the importance of protecting public order in a way that also protects the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. We are reinforcing that point with the Government of Uganda, bilaterally and with EU partners, in the run up to the February 2016 elections. The use of live ammunition by the Ugandan police to disperse crowds raises serious concerns about public safety.

Peaceful exercise of freedoms of speech and assembly is fundamental to any democratic society and is provided for and protected under Uganda’s constitution. During his visit to Uganda on 15 December, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge), underlined that it is vital for Uganda’s future that the elections in 2016 are credible, inclusive and transparent, and that they are underpinned by a respect for human rights. An EU election observation mission will be deployed to Uganda later this month.

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