Author who fled Uganda ‘relieved’ to be in Germany

  • Date: 23-Feb-2022
  • Source: Kuwait Times
  • Sector:Economy
  • Country:Kuwait
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Author who fled Uganda ‘relieved’ to be in Germany

KAMPALA: An award-winning Ugandan author who fled the country after being charged with insulting President Yoweri Museveni and his son told AFP yesterday that he was “relieved” to be in Germany for medical treatment after being “tortured” in jail. Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was detained shortly after Christmas and later charged with “offensive communication” in a case that has raised international concern, with the European Union and the United States calling for his release.

After arriving in Germany yesterday, the novelist told AFP about his relief at being saved “from the mouth of the crocodile.” “I wasn’t safe in Africa since dictators work together to deport dissidents. Now that I’m in Germany, I feel really protected,” he said in a WhatsApp message.

Rukirabashaija, 33, slipped out of Uganda two weeks ago — after a court denied his application to have his passport returned — ahead of a criminal trial that was due to begin yesterday.

He said he was tortured in custody and appeared on television earlier this month to reveal painful-looking welts criss-crossing his back and scars on other parts of his body. Rukirabashaija, who was released on bail last month, fled Uganda by walking into neighbouring Rwanda and then travelled to a third