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Field Not Level – Rights Body

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th March 2001 03:00 AM

THE US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said there is lack of a level playing field for the March 12 presidential elections.

THE US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said there is lack of a level playing field for the March 12 presidential elections.

By John Kakande THE US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said there is lack of a level playing field for the March 12 presidential elections. HRW in its report; 'Uganda: Not a level playing field,' which was released yesterday said "there are serious human rights concerns in the lead-up to Uganda's March 12, 2001 presidential elections that shed doubt on whether the election will be free and fair." "The Government of President Museveni has taken important steps to improve the human rights situation in Uganda. These steps deserve recognition," it said. "However, the Government has often used the general improvement in respect of human rights to underplay and distract attention from Uganda's flagging record on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. In the run-up to the March elections, the denial of these rights is starkly highlighted," the report said. HRW said the run-up to the election had been marred by violence, intimidation and arrest of supporters, particularly of Museveni's challengers. "Supporters of rival candidates have threatened and attacked each other. However, opposition candidates and their supporters have borne the brunt of these attacks, including intimidation, arrests and other abuses by state security forces," HRW said. "Intimidation and assault has also been directed at Museveni supporters or perceived Museveni supporters. On 20 February, an angry crowd harassed a journalist at a Besigye rally who they took for a reporter of the government owned The New Vision newspaper," the report further said. Ends

Field Not Level – Rights Body

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