Singer Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has called for the release of controversial Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi.
Nyanzi is a member of People Power, a loose movement led by Bobi Wine, also the Kyadondo East MP.
Nyanzi is being accused of insulting President Yoweri Museveni and Esiteeri Kokundeka, his late mother, on September 16 on her Facebook page.
Arrested last Friday at Makerere University, Nyanzi has now spent four days in detention.
The Tower Post has confirmed Nyanzi is being held at Kiira Road Division Police Station in Wakiso District.
She faces charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication.
Any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues commits a misdemeanour and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both, according to Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.
Nyanzi has been held beyond the constitutional 48 hours.
And there are now calls from Bobi Wine and human rights activists to have the controversial research fellow released, charged and tried instead of illegal detention.
“She is being detained illegally by the forces, way beyond the 48 hours. This has become a norm and we must raise voices against it,” wrote Bobi Wine on Tuesday.
“We demand that the authorities produce her before court so that she has an opportunity to defend herself against any charges they may prefer against her, or that she is set free immediately.”
Two days earlier human rights watchdog Chapter Four Uganda made a similar statement on Nyanzi’s detention.
“Continued enforcement of overbroad cyber harassment and offensive communication offences create a chilling effect on free expression online,” said Chapter Four in a short social media statement.
“We’re challenging the constitutionality of the offence in court. We must protect broader enduring values of free speech.”