UPDATE: Andrew Mwenda out on bond, must report to police

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Andrew Mwenda writes to the mailing list Africa Club:


I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement. I am now out and free, although reporting to police tomorrow, unsure of the outcome. The struggle for freedom in Uganda is not going to be easy. The challenges are enormous and so are the risks. But we will not be intimidated from the cause of liberty by state harassment. I believe ever more strongly now that liberty is critical for the advancement of Africa. As a people we need to stand up and challenge bad government whenever it rears its ugly head. We have for long left it to others; we the educated elite escape to the comfort of the West seeking protection instead of staying home and fighting for freedom.

The consequences on me as an individual are not particularly important. What is important are the ideals for which I and The Independent stand. Please do not think that I am underestimating the resolve of the Uganda government to harm me — possibly jail me or torture me or worse still even kill me. I suffered the violence with which they kidnapped me on Saturday. I could have disappeared. However, I know that although they can imprison or kill me, they cannot imprison or kill the ideals for which I and The Independent stand. We may suffer setbacks along the way, but I have profound faith in the final triumph of the cause of liberty in Uganda.


Earlier: James Shikwati reports that journalist Andrew Mwenda has been released on bond, but must report to police tomorrow. Mwenda was arrested Saturday night, along with other staffers of Uganda’s Independent newspaper, following a Saturday-night raid on the paper’s offices. Shikwati writes:

I talked to Andrew this morning. He is strong and as usual an optimist! Listen to Andrew “…if anti-democratic forces in Africa do nothing, it will mean they are not noticing our work.”

He asked me to [write] that he is very strong, energetic and will not be cowed by government intimidation.

The Free Andrew Mwenda Facebook page is collecting news and calls to action. Though Mwenda has been released on bond for now, this is the second raid on the paper in two months.

Read the Independent‘s minute-by-minute account of the raid and arrests >>