Lawmaker critical of President Museveni flies out of Uganda: lawyers

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Prominent Ugandan opposition lawmaker and popular musician Robert Kyagulanyi who was charged with treason has left Uganda by plane, his lawyers said.

FILE PHOTO: Ugandan musician turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi (C) leads activists during a demonstration against new taxes including a levy on access to social media platforms in Kampala, Uganda July 11, 2018. Picture taken July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Newton Nambwaya/File Photo

Kyagulanyi, 35, known by his stage name Bobi Wine, was elected to parliament last year and amassed a large following among youth electrified by his scathing criticism of President Yoweri Museveni, sometimes delivered in his songs.

“I can now confirm that Hon. Bobi Wine ... is on a KLM flight out of Entebbe Airport,” lawyer Nicholas Opiyo wrote on Twitter late on Friday, without giving his final destination.

Another lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, wrote: “Now that Bobi Wine is finally safely en route on a flight, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to his local lawyers, his family, friends, and supporters who refused to back down in the face of extreme pressure and intimidation.”

Kyagulanyi has been charged with treason over his alleged role in the stoning of Museveni’s convoy this month, but a court granted him access to private doctors citing health concerns. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The lawmaker has said he was beaten up and tortured while in detention. Police say they are investigating the allegations.

Protests erupted in the Ugandan capital on Friday after police detained Kyagulanyi at the international airport during his previous attempt to travel abroad for medical care.

Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Edmund Blair

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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