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Clooney Foundation for Justice Statement on the Release of Stella Nyanzi in Uganda

Ugandan prominent academic Stella Nyanzi stands in the dock at Buganda Road Court for criticising the wife of President Yoweri Museveni on social media, in Kampala, Uganda April 10, 2017. REUTERS/James Akena

The Clooney Foundation for Justice welcomes the release of Dr. Stella Nyanzi, an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, who had been unfairly imprisoned for posting a poem on Facebook suggesting that Uganda would have been better off if President Museveni had not been born.

After a blatantly unfair trial that was given a ‘D’ by the TrialWatch experts that monitored and graded the trial, the appeals court in Uganda threw out the conviction citing the fact that the defense team did not have adequate time to prepare a defense. This finding echoes the TrialWatch Fairness Report, which concluded that the trial court ‘violated Dr. Nyanzi’s right to call and examine witnesses and, correspondingly, her right to adequate time and facilities for the preparation of a defense.’