Skip to main content

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 102577, tabled on 12 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she has taken to raise the case of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija with the Government of Uganda.

Answered on

19 January 2022

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

We are concerned that the Ugandan novelist, Kakwenza Rukirabashija, following a series of tweets, was detained at his home on 28 December 2021 and then held without charge for 14 days at an unknown facility. Using legislation, such as the Computer Misuse Act, to stifle freedom of expression is very worrying. We welcome the decisions of the Chief Magistrate's Court and the High Court in relation to Rukirabashija's release and habeas corpus. We note, however, that Rukirabashija was subsequently charged and placed on remand.

We urge the Government of Uganda to ensure that the rule of law is upheld as a vital component of democracy. Rukirabashija must be afforded all of his rights under the Constitution of Uganda, including access to legal representation. I (Minister for Africa) expressed the importance of upholding human rights with the President of Uganda during my visit to Uganda on 19 January 2022. Our High Commission in Kampala issued a tweet on 7 January publicly stating our concern over Rukirabashija's continued detention. The High Commission has also set out our concerns over his detention with the Government of Uganda, Uganda's human rights institutions and the security services. We have urged all to ensure that Uganda honours its constitutional commitments and international human rights law.

Original answer

We are concerned that the Ugandan novelist, Kakwenza Rukirabashija, following a series of tweets, was detained at his home on 28 December 2021 and then held without charge for 14 days at an unknown facility. Using legislation, such as the Computer Misuse Act, to stifle freedom of expression is very worrying. We welcome the decisions of the Chief Magistrate's Court and the High Court in relation to Rukirabashija's release and habeas corpus. We note, however, that Rukirabashija was subsequently charged and placed on remand.

We urge the Government of Uganda to ensure that the rule of law is upheld as a vital component of democracy. Rukirabashija must be afforded all of his rights under the Constitution of Uganda, including access to legal representation. Our High Commission in Kampala issued a tweet on 7 January publicly stating our concern over Rukirabashija's continued detention. The High Commission has also set out our concerns over his detention with the Government of Uganda, Uganda's human rights institutions and the security services. We have urged all to ensure that Uganda honours its constitutional commitments and international human rights law.