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Winnie Byanyima Denied Access to Besigye

Winnie Byanyima,  the wife of jailed FDC’s former Presidential candidate Col Dr Kizza Besigye is accusing authorities at Luzira Prison of denying her chance to speak to her husband.

The Oxfam International Executive Director reported yesterday that officials told her when she tried to call in at the country’s biggest penitentiary; that speaking to her husband would not be possible.

“I was refused to speak to Kizza Besigye today,” she tweeted. “‘It won’t be possible today’” No explanation given. I’m hurt by arrogance and abuse of power.”

She added, “I won’t beg them but continue to demand the right of a prisoner to a family visit and call.”

Byanyima says that shorty after Besigye was remanded on Treason Charges; she was able to speak to him “any day.” Later however, she was told that she could only speak to him on Tuesdays and Thursdays until yesterday when they said speaking to him would not be possible.

Earlier she says, she would be given such excuses as “we are still deciding,” or “we have functions today.”

Prison authorities however have dismissed these accusations. The Uganda Prisons Spokesperson Frank Baine told Chimpreports that it was unlikely that a prisoner would be denied their right to speak to their family.

“That is interesting,” Baine told us on phone. “What I know is that the service at that moment must have been overwhelmed. This Prison holds more than 3000 people all of whom have a right to a telephone call. It is likely that the numbers would not allow for Mrs. Byanyima to speak to her husband at the moment.

He added, “Our officers must be allowed to take decisions depending on the circumstances; they must ensure that there is balance and everyone has access to facilities.”

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