Stella Nyanzi, a Ugandan academic and gender, and rights advocate, has been serving an 18 months jail term after being found guilty of cyber harassment against the country’s 33-year-ruling President Yoweri Museveni.
She was arrested 9 months ago, for a Facebook post she made, a poem critical of President Museveni and his mother Esteri Kokundeka.
The Guardian reports that, in court in Kampala, the magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu called the poem “offensive and vulgar. The use of obscenity cannot be justified in any society. It didn’t matter who the post was referring to.”
Nyanzi, who was not sorry for what she posted, refused a chance to plead for leniency from the court. She said: “Send me to Luzira [maximum security prison]. I am proud [of what] I told a dirty, delinquent dictator. I want to embolden the young people. . . I want them to use their voices and speak whatever words they want to speak.”
I am disappointed that you don’t find me guilty of offending the president. I plan to offend Yoweri Museveni Kaguta because he has offended us. Find me guilty of offending the dictator.”#PushForStellaNyanzi#FreeStellahNyanzi pic.twitter.com/kkSoimj3BT
— Rosebell Kagumire ♉ (@RosebellK) August 1, 2019
Nyanzi has suffered harassment in the country for her criticism of the President and the First Lady. She has has been in and out of jail, but mostly in, where she has suffered a miscarriage. In June, she reached 222 days in prison.
Nyanzi now has two more court cases: she sued for the violation of her rights to movement following her placement on a no-fly list; and she sued Makerere University for sacking and not reinstating her, despite the university appeals tribunal’s direction to the contrary. The ruling for the case against Makerere University has been fixed for 16 October.
She then staged a nude protest. There is a video on Twitter.
— Rosebell Kagumire ♉ (@RosebellK) August 2, 2019