In Summary

  • Dr Nyanzi remains in custody pending a bail hearing.
  • A senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch criticised the arrest as an attack on free expression.
  • Dr Nyanzi shot to prominence in April 2016 when she stripped naked at her university to protest the closure of her office, and later shared the nude photos of herself on social media.

KAMPALA

A prominent female academic and activist was charged on Monday with cyber-harassment for calling President Yoweri Museveni a "pair of buttocks" in a Facebook post.

University lecturer Stella Nyanzi, 42, has raised eyebrows in the conservative country for sexually explicit social media posts in which she has frequently criticised the president and his wife.

She has lashed out at Janet Museveni, who is also education minister, after the government reneged on a campaign to supply free sanitary pads to poor schoolgirls and has launched vitriolic attacks against the first couple.

Dr Nyanzi appeared in a court in Kampala on Monday, where she was charged with making a remark that was "obscene or indecent."

FACEBOOK POST

The charge sheet referred to a Facebook post on January 28 "where she made a suggestion or proposal referring (to) His Excellency, Yoweri Museveni as among others, 'a pair of buttocks'."

The Facebook post reads: "That is what buttocks do. They shake, jiggle, shit and fart. Museveni is just another pair of buttocks... Ugandans should be shocked that we allowed these buttocks to continue leading our country."

There was no reference to any charge for insults to the first lady.

"Dr Stella Nyanzi has been charged with cyber-harassment and offensive communication (and) using her Facebook posts to disturb President Museveni's privacy, which she denies," her lawyer Nicholas Opiyo said.

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