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Uganda judges call off strike after president regrets court siege

[JURIST] Ugandan judges Friday agreed to call off a strike after President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile] wrote a letter to the judiciary, expressing regret for a March 1 siege of the Ugandan High Court [Reuters report]. The judges went on strike [JURIST report] Monday to protest the incident, in which state security agents surrounded the courthouse and rearrested six defendants who had been granted bail. The defendants' lawyer was also beaten unconscious by security forces. Ugandan judges and international legal groups decried the siege as an attack on the independence of the Ugandan judiciary. On Tuesday, Museveni promised to implement more transparent procedures for making arrests [JURIST report].

The six defendants arrested in the court siege were charged with being members of the People's Redemption Army (PRA) [Wikipedia backgrounder] and plotting a rebellion with opposition leader Kizza Besigye [BBC profile]. In April of last year, Besigye pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to treason charges. Reuters has more.

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