Uganda women protest topless against Police public groping of female politician

On Friday, Ugandans witnessed another episode of police brutality. It wasn’t just the brutality we are used to seeing.  In this video ran by NTVUganda  a police officer was, publicly before the cameras, groping an opposition politician Ingrid Turinawe.

Ingrid has been at the forefront of various pressure groups in Uganda for the last 5 years. She was one of the leaders of the Activists for Change (A4C), a pressure group that led the famous Walk to Work protests that took place in many parts of Uganda for the greater part of 2011 as the Arab spring was going on.

The group has been banned because in our country where we still use very colonial laws to the advantage of a dictatorial regime, the attorney general has powers to declare a group illegal even without evidence of  the need to ban them. This law threatens even a blogger or writers who mention A4C as government could claim that they are  promoting an illegal group  with intention to ‘incite violence’. Already two journalists have been summoned by the police over an interview had with the head of the group. Human rights groups have warned on the dangers of the government-increased crackdown on freedom of speech, expression and assembly in Uganda.

Once the group A4C was banned, some of its leaders rebranded it into For God and my Country (4GC), taking after the country motto. It was after the launch of the new group that Uganda police brutality came back to our living rooms.

This time a male police offer publically groping Ingrid as another pulls her leg out of the car. The police officer didn’t grope her once, he did it repeatedly and in the video we hear Ingrid asking why the police officer was doing that. One other police officer warns his colleague but does nothing to stop this.

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What would you do?

“What would you do if instead of me from the moment you were born, every day they told you that you are less than another person, that you deserve less, that you don’t know enough to talk, that you have half the brains of another human? What would you do if you had to watch what you say, wear, do every moment of your life out of fear that someone might call you a name and the whole world might see you as “bad” so you could never be comfortable in who you are? What would you do if you were banned from going to school or harassed brutally on the way to school every day?  You would not be as strong as me. You would give up. But I won’t give up. I will keep fighting no matter what the society hands me.” -Meetra Alikozay, a member of Young Women for Change, a rights based group in Kabul run by young Afghan women.

Through their work i have learnt about issues affecting women in Afghanistan. I hope to one day watch This is my City too.

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Happy Easter

This is the second Easter  holiday I have spent outside home. This time am next door in Nairobi with friends. Last months have been hectic and I am taking a few days to celebrate, appreciate, reflect on the gift of friendship and freedom. So my friend Rachel took these photos yesterday in cold Nairobi weather.

Easter is about freedom and someone recently asked “so Rosebell, what’s your favourite bible character?”   David! To me he represents human flaws, freedom and victory. And in the end I love the fact that in the end despite all flaws God calls him “Man after my own heart”.

So to all friends, real friends, family and everyone who values freedom, may you be free!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32