KAMPALA: The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has directed the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) to release Obed Katureebe, a staff of the Uganda Media Centre who has been in detention for over two months.
In a release order dated Monday, July 4, 2022, addressed to the CMI Commander, the UHRC chairperson directed that Katureebe be released immediately.
“Whereas Obed Katureebe has been in your custody since May 2, 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,” the order reads.
Following Katureebe’s arrest, his boss, the Executive Director of Uganda Media Centre, Ofwono Opondo, said he (Katureebe) was being protected from harm.
“Obed is under security protection because of threats allegedly against his person details of which am yet to be provided with. I have been assured that he’s safe and not under arrest,” Mr Opondo said and later added, “I can confidently state that Obed Katureebe matter is being handled appropriately and professionally with those concerned. I will update the media when necessary.”
It’s not clear who wants to harm Katureebe but early this year, Kigali tasked authorities in Kampala to deal with some individuals they accused of spreading hateful propaganda against Rwanda. Katureebe is one of the people Kigali listed, accusing him of using pseudo names like RPF Gakwerere to launch verbal attacks against the Rwanda establishment, but he refuted the claims.
Following his arrest, Gakwerere issued a notice claiming that he is the person they are targeting to arrest, demanding that Katurebe be released.