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Ugandan author 'dumped at home by gunmen' after release from jail -lawyer

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Ugandan novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija charged with communications offences

KAMPALA (Reuters) - An award-winning Ugandan author was "dumped by gunmen" overnight outside his home, his lawyer said on Wednesday, after a court ordered his release from detention on charges related to criticism of the country's long-serving leader.

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who had been in jail for nearly a month, is awaiting trial for communications offences related to a series of tweets he posted in December about President Yoweri Museveni and his son, an army general.

The Kampala court granted Rukirabashaija bail on Tuesday, but he was taken away by unknown security personnel just as his lawyers were serving the prison holding him with the release order, lawyer Eron Kiiza told Reuters.

"He was dumped at his home this morning by gunmen. He is currently at his home" in Iganga, a town east of the capital, Kiiza said.

Reuters calls to spokespeople for the police and armed forces went unanswered.

The 33-year-old Rukirabashaija, who last year won the PEN Pinter Prize for international writers of courage, is best-known for "The Greedy Barbarian", a novel about corruption in a fictional country widely interpreted as a satire on Museveni.

His arrest drew widespread criticism from rights activists, political opposition and led to diplomatic pressure from the EU and the United States.

He was detained on December 28 and held incommunicado for several days before being charged on Jan 11.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; editing by John Stonestreet)

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