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Back to the drawing board! FDC suspends countrywide rallies over police brutality

FDC Party President Patrick Amuriat. The Party has suspended its nationwide rallies, accusing police over continued brutality(FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has suspended its nationwide meetings and rallies, accusing police over continued brutality.

FDC party president Patrick Amuriat on Monday morning said they cannot continue with their meetings under such circumstances and that they are yet to meet to forge a way forward

The FDC had last weekend resumed its nationwide rallies in West Nile region.

However, all their meetings were blocked by police. Police working on instructions of resident district commissioners (RDCs) clashed with the FDC party leaders in the districts of Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe and Koboko, in attempts to quell their meetings and political activities.

Mr Amuriat’s revelation is a departure from the previous party position of insisting on holding their rallies.

Mr John Kikonyogo, the FDC deputy spokesperson, last week said that despite the disruptions, their activities would go on as planned.

“We are going to continue with our programmes because we are not breaking any law,” he said.

“We don’t need to inform police about our activities, but out of courtesy, we gave them our programme for the entire country and therefore, we don’t see any reason why we should be blocked,” he said.

The party also earlier boycotted the Inter-party Organisation for Dialogue summit citing police brutality meted against its members.

Since the beginning of the year, different Opposition political parties have tasted the wrath of the security forces.

Forum for Democratic Change stalwart Dr Kiiza Besigye on a talk-show at Hope radio in Kabale municipality before it was switched off air on Thursday, April 04. (PHOTO/File)

On April 4, Hope Radio in Kabale was switched off the air for hosting the Forum for Democratic Change party leaders.

In Mubende on April 18, police raided Mubende FM and switched it off for hosting presidential candidate Kizza Besigye on a live talk show.

In the same month in Lira, all radio stations were warned not to host the FDC party leaders.

Opposition and police continue to fight over the interpretation and implementation of the Public Order Management Act (POMA).

Whereas police insist permission has to be sought and granted first, the opposition insists they just have to notify police about their public gatherings.

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