Protest, Power and Sanitary Pads in Uganda. 

In early April, popular Ugandan academic Dr. Stella Nyanzi was arrested and charged by the Ugandan state. Stella is also a colleague and Research Affiliate of the Centre on Law & Social Transformation.

Her formal charge of was of ‘computer misuse’ and ‘cyber harassment’ because she among other things has called Uganda President Yoweri K. Museveni ‘a pair of buttocks’. She remains in jail as the Ugandan government are using colonial era laws to paint her as mentally unstable.

On 19th of April Amnesty International released a statement in which they named Dr. Nyanzi a prisoner of conscience held solely for ‘her peaceful expression.’

Since early 2017 Dr. Nyanzi has fronted a social media campaign against the ruling regime in Uganda for failing to fulfill several of their ‘developmental’ pledges made during the 2016 election campaign. Her direct activism for free sanitary pads for girls (#pads4GirlsUg) attracted both national and international attention, and put her in direct conflict with both President Museveni and his wife Janet, the Minister of Education.

Through this breakfast seminar, we wish to present and discuss the process surrounding #FreeStellaNyanzi, and discuss how many of the aspects of the case feed into deeper issues about the backlash against democracy, freedom of speech and association and human rights seen globally.

Svein-Erik Helle (CMI) in conversation with:

  • Adrian Jjuko (HRPF-Uganda)
  • Monica Kirya (U4/CMI)
  • Vibeke Wang (CMI)

Monica Kirya

Interim U4 Deputy Director; Principal Adviser (U4)

Recent CMI publications: