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Uganda judges strike to protest government siege of High Court

[JURIST] Ugandan judges began a week-long general strike Monday to protest last Thursday's siege of the High Court and seizure of defendants by government forces. Court witnesses said that six defendants were rearrested by security forces in court after having been granted bail. The defendants' lawyer was also beaten unconscious by security forces. Elias Kisawuzi, spokesperson for the judiciary, told Reuters that the "[courts] are not registering any new cases" and that the judges would decide whether to continue the strike on Friday. The state-owned Sunday Vision said the defendants were rearrested on separate murder charges.

The six defendants 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; JURIST news archive]. In April of last year, Besigye pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to treason charges. Reuters has more. Sunday Vision has local coverage.

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