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Ugandan court orders police to lift Bobi Wine’s house arrest

Court tells soldiers to cease surrounding the home of the opposition leader, whose house arrest has drawn condemnation.

A Ugandan court has ordered security forces to stop surrounding the home of opposition leader Bobi Wine, who has been under house arrest since the January 14 presidential election, his lawyer says.

Troops have blocked the 38-year-old pop star-turned-politician from leaving his house in a suburb of the capital Kampala since he voted in the January 14 election where he ran against long-serving incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.

“The judge ordered that the state and its agencies should immediately vacate his property and his right to personal liberty should immediately be reinstated,” lawyer George Musisi told Reuters on Monday.

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Museveni, 76, who has been in power since 1986, was declared winner of the poll with 59 percent of votes versus 35 percent for Bobi Wine, who had for years denounced corruption and nepotism in his songs.

Bobi Wine rejected the result, alleging fraud which the government denies.

Ugandan authorities have said Bobi Wine can only leave his home on the outskirts of the capital under military escort because they fear his presence in public could incite rioting.

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But the judge said in his ruling that Bobi Wine’s home is not a proper detention facility and noted that authorities should criminally charge him if he threatens public order.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said he had no immediate comment as the ruling had not been received.

There was no immediate reaction from the government or confirmation from the court.

US ambassador Natalie E Brown had tried to visit Bobi Wine at his home, drawing an accusation of meddling and subversion from the Ugandan government.

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