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Uganda lawyers take turn protesting government High Court siege

[JURIST] Lawyers in Uganda [JURIST news archive] began a three-day strike Monday in response to the March 1 siege of the Ugandan High Court [Reuters report]. The 830 members of the Uganda Law Society (ULA) [group website] voted last week [JURIST report] to protest the incident, in which state security agents surrounded the courthouse, rearrested six defendants who had previously been granted bail, and beat the defendants' lawyer unconscious. Ugandan judges went on strike [JURIST report] last week to protest the siege but agreed to call off the strike [JURIST report] Friday after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile] promised to implement more transparent procedures for making arrests [JURIST report] and wrote a letter to the judiciary, expressing regret for the siege.

The six defendants arrested in the March 1 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]. Besigye pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] last April to treason charges. DPA has more.

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