The Walk to Work protests have turned violent claiming several lives and leading to various arrests
Amnesty international has asked Government to immediately end the excessive use of force against protestors.
Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Africa Deputy Director, says the police have a duty to protect themselves and uphold the law, but it is completely unacceptable to fire live ammunition at peaceful protesters.
The call came shortly after police fired live rounds at crowds of protesters in different parts of the country reportedly killing a child in Masaka.
On Thursday, One child was killed and two protesters injured by bullets during protests in Masaka. Two police officers were reportedly badly beaten by protesters during the disturbances.
Five people have been killed in Uganda since the protests, sparked by a rise in fuel prices and the cost of living, began on 11 April.
Kizza Besigye, leader of the opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), was arrested on Thursday for the third time since the protests began. He has been charged with unlawful assembly and will appear in court on 27 April.
Two men were shot dead by security forces in the northern town of Gulu on 14 April. Adoni Mugisu, a market vendor, and Charles Otula , a mechanic died after police fired into crowds of unarmed protesters.
The government expressed regret over the deaths and blamed the deaths on the opposition leaders and protesters.
During the protests in Gulu one other person was reportedly lynched by protesters for wearing a T-shirt with a photograph of President Museveni.
On Monday 18 April, dozens of people were arrested and charged with offences ranging from inciting violence to participating in unlawful assemblies. Among them was Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao, who refused to apply for bail and is scheduled to appear in court next month.
Michelle Kagari says Government must immediately drop all charges against Kizza Besigye and all other opposition politicians, activists and supporters. She says that criminal charges must not be used against those taking part in peaceful protests and those detained must be released.
Since the conclusion of the February 2011 general elections, the Ugandan police have maintained a blanket ban against all forms of public assemblies and demonstrations, on grounds of ensuring public security.
Michelle Kagari, says the ban on public rallies violates the right to freedom of expression provided for under Uganda’s Constitution and international law. It must be lifted immediately.
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walk to work protests