Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson
The Ugandan people turned out to vote in multiparty national elections on January 14 despite an environment of intimidation and fear. We are deeply troubled by the many credible reports of security force violence during the pre-election period and election irregularities during the polls. We strongly urge independent, credible, impartial, and thorough investigations into these reports and that those responsible be held accountable. We condemn the continuing attacks on political candidates and urge the government to respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression. We are gravely concerned by harassment of and continued threats to civil society. Finally, we note the continued nationwide shutdown of the Internet and call for its immediate restoration along with that of social media services.
We urge all parties to reject violence and to use constitutional and legal means to address complaints. We call upon the Government of Uganda to respect freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly, and to hold accountable members of the security forces responsible for violence and abuses. We reiterate our intention to pursue action against those responsible for the undermining of democracy and human rights in Uganda.