A section of environment activists in Uganda have asked police to unconditionally release environmental activists who were arrested for holding a peaceful demonstration against the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Four activists were on Friday arrested by Police in Kampala and detained for protesting against the construction of the much-debated EACOP.
Those arrested are; Barigye Bob, Ivan Kabale and Musoke Hamis and Jackson Ssemwanga who was allegedly kidnapped and his whereabouts are still unknown.
The other three are currently detained at the Kampala Central Police Station. The arrest of these activists has drawn both local and international condemnation ,calling for their unconditional release.
In the footage seen by the Nile Post, the activists were seen being arrested violently by police and one of them is heard saying “Amafuta Gayimizibwe” which loosely translates into stop the oil project.
Activists across different parts of the country described the arrest of their colleagues as cowardly and promised to do everything possible to have them released. They vowed to continue with their protests against the construction of the pipeline.
They said these people were exercising their democratic right under the Ugandan constitution to peacefully protest against the oil project due to the impacts it will have on the people, nature and climate.
They also called upon by security forces to avail the missing activist to his family members as soon as possible.
In a statement, the African Initiative on Food Security and Environment (AIFE-Uganda) said the activists were arrested on Kampala Road.
AIFE-Uganda, a non-for-profit organization whose role is to organize communities to be proactive against climate change and conserve the environment said it understands and knows that in Uganda kidnaps of activists has become a common occurrence and condemn such illegal acts.
“The kidnapped is Ssemwanga Jackson. Our legal team and the activists have checked all the police stations and legal detention centers and failed to locate the kidnapped activist, “the statement read in part.
The organisation noted that this “cowardly act” by the government of Uganda using the military,has to stop hence force.
It has demanded for the immediate release of these activists that have been arrested and are “illegally” detained by police.