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Uganda's leading opposition figure held again

Kizza Besigye arrested outside his home in the capital Kampala after a confrontation with police.

Last updated: 24 Jan 2014 16:31
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Kizza Besigye is a three-time presidential candidate and has been arrested several times [AFP]

Ugandan police have arrested the country's leading opposition figure, Kizza Besigye, outside his home near the capital.

Police spokesman Ibn Senkumbi told the Associated Press news agency that Besigye was detained for questioning on Friday after a confrontation with the police.

Besigye, a three-time presidential candidate, is trying to revamp a protest movement against President Yoweri Museveni, who has held power for 28 years.

Ugandan police frequently block Besigye from leaving his home, accusing him of plotting to hold illegal rallies. They said he tried to force his way out.

His supporters were at the forefront of widespread anti-government protests against the high cost of living in 2011 and, after a lull in 2012, they led demonstrations again last year.

Besigye has been arrested several times at public rallies since the peak of the 2011 protests and although in 2012 he stepped down as leader of the FDC, Uganda's biggest opposition party, police have kept him under close scrutiny.

Last year lawmakers passed a bill that gives police discretionary powers to allow or disallow public meetings.

New York-based rights group, Human Rights Watch, said in a new report that throughout 2013 "opposition politicians faced arrest, detention, and criminal charges for holding public assemblies in Uganda".

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