Uganda police confront candidate Bobi Wine

·2-min read

Police in Uganda have confronted opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine during his online press conference to announce a petition to the International Criminal Court over alleged abuses by security forces.

He said they fired tear gas and bullets as they swarmed his car.

Journalists watched as an officer dragged Wine from the car while he pleaded that he had broken no law.

"As you can see, I'm being arrested," he said to the camera, before popping sounds were heard.

"You are embarrassing the country," Wine told officers.

He was later allowed to finish the briefing and drive on.

He had spent the day campaigning, during which he said 23 members of his team had been arrested.

The singer and opposition leader was announcing he is petitioning the ICC to investigate allegations of torture and other rights abuses in the country ahead of next week's election.

The ICC receives hundreds such applications from around the world each year.

The 38-year-old Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has fired the imagination of many across Africa as he tries to unseat longtime President Yoweri Museveni, who has deployed the military to prevent what he sees as opposition attempts to create civil unrest that could cause regime change.

Wine and other opposition figures have called the 76-year-old Museveni a dictator.

"Many atrocities are being committed on the orders of Museveni," the singer told reporters.

Government officials did not immediately comment.

Wine, arrested many times on various charges but never convicted, now says his life may be in danger.

He now campaigns while wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet.

"I expect a live bullet targeted at me any time," said Wine, who has sent his children to the United States over safety concerns.

When asked by the organiser whether he wanted to end the briefing, he said he felt safer with the cameras on.

At least 54 people were killed in Uganda's capital Kampala and other parts of the country in November as security forces put down riots provoked by the arrest of Wine for allegedly violating campaign regulations aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.