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Article

26 Dec 2019

Author:
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Uganda: Threats against two defenders who testified in the trial against Total in France

'Two defenders who testified in the trial against Total are at risk in Uganda', 26 December 2019

The two Ugandan witnesses who testified in France on December 12 in the trial against Total for its activities in Uganda now have clear reasons to fear for their lives, after further intimidation and threatening acts upon their return to Uganda and to their village... Unknown men attempted to break into farmer Fred Mwesigwa’s house late on the night of December 23 and again the following night, forcing through the metal doors and wooden structures of his house, which fortunately held. After their second failure, these men locked Fred Mwesigwa into his house with padlocks. As a result of these attacks, he was able to take refuge yesterday in a secret location. The pressure began as soon as the two witnesses arrived at the Kampala airport: community leader Jelousy Mugisha was arrested and questioned for nearly nine hours. But it has reached another level since their return home to Buliisa, in the heart of the area where Total is working to develop a mega oil project. At the same time, according to various local informants, Moses Ogamhogwa, a Total Uganda employee based in Buliisa, whom Total SA brought to France for the December 12 hearing at the Nanterre High Court, is allegedly spreading false information to the community about Jelousy Mugisha...

Part of the following stories

Uganda: Environmental and land rights defenders face harassment and arrest for anti-eviction protests. Includes company responses

Threats & attacks on rights groups and land & environmental defenders in Uganda