Uganda: Besigye Asks for Shs300m in Appeal Case

Kampala — Dr Kiiza Besigye, the former president for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has appealed against the Shs10m that was awarded to him as compensation for his violated right to human treatment from a Kenya Airways plane in 2006.

In his memorandum of appeal that was filed before the Court of Appeal yesterday, Dr Besigye listed six grounds upon which he wants the court to reverse the judgment and findings of High Court judge Musa Sekaana and find an appropriate award of Shs300 million for his violated freedom.

Among the grounds, Dr Besigye faults Justice Sekaana for ruling that his arrest and detention was justifiable as preventive arrest and that none of his freedoms to assembly and movement were violated.

Dr Besigye states that the judge was also wrong to rule that his people, who had gathered at Entebbe International Airport to welcome him, would disrupt and paralyse activities hence whisking him away from the stairs of the plane.

He further said the deprivation of his liberty attracts only symbolic compensation and thus awarding Shs10m to him as violation of his right was inappropriate.

In his ruling, Justice Sekaana noted: "The police ought to have arrested the plaintiff [Besigye] in a dignified manner especially at the airport which is our gateway for tourists and foreigners coming into and going out of the country. Such crude manner of arrest paints an ugly picture to the country and could also have economic consequences."

Justice Sekaana, however, observed that although Dr Besigye's arrest was effected in a rude manner, it was justified because people had gathered at the airport and could engage in an unlawful procession.

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