Uganda police arrest 11 female lawmakers during protest

11 female opposition lawmakers have been arrested in Uganda during a protest over what they allege is police brutality.

The legislators took to the streets Thursday to voice their dissatisfaction over what they are calling a violation of the rights of women and a threat to their lives, which they say also violates the Constitution.

Scuffles erupted between the women and police as the legislators tried to make their way to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

“Susan Mugabi was beaten, was tear-gassed,” she said. “There were bullets fired. Her sister was beaten, and fondled by police officers. Almost undressed her. Her mother was also arrested ahead of the celebrations. Her father was locked in the house. So, all these violations.” One of the lawmakers, Joyce Bagala, detailed some of the women’s grievances.

According to local media reports, Police officials were not readily available for comment. They were meeting with the speaker of parliament at the central police station where the legislators were being held.

The female opposition legislators are asking for parliament and the internal affairs ministry to acknowledge that the actions of security officers in blocking Women’s Day celebrations were illegal, irrational, and an affront to the right to associate and assemble.

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