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Bobi Wine hires international lawyer

Ugandan independent MP and musician Bobi Wine, who has been detained on charges of the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, has hired a US law firm, lawyer Robert Amsterdam says in a statement.

Mr Amsterdam described his client’s arrest as a “politically motivated act of repression” and alleges that he has been tortured in custody.

The army, which is holding Wine, denies that he has been tortured and President Yoweri Museveni has dismissed the claims as “fake news”.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, won a by-election last year.

He has been held since last week, along with four fellow MPs and dozens of others. They were campaigning in a bitterly contested by-election in Arua in the north of the country. Wine is due to appear in court on Thursday.

Mr Amsterdam is recommending that the US should “hit [government] officials in their wallets with a Magnitsky-style sanctions schedule as they need to understand the consequences of this attack on human rights”.

The US Magnitsky Act allows Congress to impose sanctions on human rights abusers anywhere in the world.

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