Stella Nyanzi To Enjoy 2nd Christmas In Luzira Prison

Former Makerere researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi will spend her second Christmas behind bars at Luzira Upper Women Prison.

On Thursday, Nyanzi returned to High Court for her appeal against the conviction and sentence to 18 months for cyber harassment of President Museveni.

Nyanzi is challenging her sentence and conviction based on her poem posted on Facebook which reportedly insulted the person of the president and his deceased mother Esteri Kokundeka.

The presiding judge Justice Henry Peter Adonyo fixed January 9, 2020 for hearing of Nyanzi’s appeal.

He sent her back to Luzira prison until that time.

Dr Nyanzi’s lawyer, Isaac Semakadde, says they will challenge the sentence on cyber harassment.

View image on Twitter“The sentence doesn’t conform with accepted universal standards of freedom of expression,” Semakadde said outside court.

He added: “The computer misuse act was given an interpretation inconsistent with our own constitution.”

According to vocal activist Rosebell Kagumire Nyanzi has already spent a year at Luzira prison and her fight for freedom of expression is important for many creatives in Uganda.

“As a political challenger and social norm upsetter she’s a much needed voice, one we must protect! Dr Stella Nyanzi will spend second Christmas in jail over a poem which magistrate court found was cyber harassment but not offensive communication,” Kagumire noted.

She said Nyanzi’s appeal is before a judge who heads the international crimes division because Nyanzi brought up issue of judicial officers with history of working with prosecution office.

“Many other judges expressed unwillingness to handle the matter. One other ground of appeal is territorial jurisdiction of cybercrimes by the magistrates court which passed the sentence against Dr Stella Nyanzi.”

Shs50m compensation

On Tuesday, the High Court in Kampala awarded the former research fellow, Shs50m in damages for violation of her right to movement.

In March 2017 Nyanzi was arrested at Entebbe International Airport while on her way to Amsterdam to attend a scholarly conference.

She was being investigated for alleged offensive communication and the cyber harassment of President Museveni.edgug

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