Urgent Interventions

Arbitrary detention and release of Mr. Jelousy Mugisha following his testimony in France in a case against Total


UGA 002 / 1219 / OBS106

Arbitrary detention / Release /



December 17, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a jointpartnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requestsyour urgent intervention in the following situation in Uganda.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informedby reliable sources about the arbitrary detention and release of Mr. Jelousy Mugisha, pastor, community leaderand human and environmental rights defender in Uganda.

According to the informationreceived, on December 14, 2019 at 10.15 am, Mr. Jelousy Mugisha was reportedly arrestedby immigration officials of Uganda upon arrival at the airport of Entebbe, Uganda.He was coming back from Paris (France), where he testified on December 12, 2019within the framework of a case brought by two French non-governmentalorganisations (NGOs) – Survie and Friends of the Earth France, as well as fourUgandan NGOs against the French oil company Total for alleged human andenvironmental violations triggered by its operations in Uganda, where it is oneof two operating partners of the Lake Albert Oil Project, together with ChinaNational Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

In June 2019, the six NGOs presentedTotal with a formal request to revise its vigilance plan[1]and to implement that plan at the level of the oil project in Uganda. After anunsatisfactory response to the formal request by Total, a legal action was launchedon October 23, 2019. The complainants argued that the company failed to complywith its obligations under the French duty of vigilancelaw. The summary hearing which tookplace on December 12 before the First Instance Court (Tribunal de GrandeInstance) of Nanterre lasted more than 2.30 hours. The judgment is expectedto be issued on January 30, 2020. According to theinformation received, Mr. Mugisha had received threats throughout the week preceding his trip to Paris.

At around 7 pm on December 14, Mr. Jealousy Mugisha was finally released from custody. During his nine-hour detention, he was interrogated aboutthe reasons of his involvement in the above-mentioned legal action againstTotal in France. As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, no charges would be pendingagainst him.

TheObservatory expresses its deepest concern about the arbitrary detention andharassment of Mr. Jealousy Mugisha, which seems to be only aimed at punishinghim from his legitimate human rights activities. The Observatory urges theauthorities of Uganda to guarantee his physical and psychological integrity andto put an end to any form of harassment against him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities ofUganda asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical andpsychological integrity of Mr. Jelousy Mugisha, as well as all human rightsdefenders in Uganda;

ii. Put an end to any form of harassment,including at the judicial level, against Mr. Jelousy Mugisha and all humanrights defenders in Uganda, and ensure in all circumstances that they are ableto carry out their legitimate human rights activities without any hindrance orfear of reprisals;

iii. Conform with the provisions of the UNDeclaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of theUnited Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Articles 1, 5 and 12.2;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect forhuman rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international humanrights standards and international instruments ratified by Uganda.


• President Kaguta Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, Fax:+256 (0) 414 436 102 / + 256 41 4235459 / +256 41 4344012. /
• General Jeje Odongo, Minister of Internal Affairs, Fax: +256 414343088
• Mr. Obiga Kania, State Minister for Internal Affairs, Fax: + 256414343088

Mr. WilliamByaruhanga, Attorney General, and Hon. Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of Justiceand Constitutional Affairs of Uganda, Fax: + 256 41 4250829.
• Mr. Mike Chibita, Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justiceand Constitutional Affairs of Uganda, Fax: +256-414-258-565/341-316, Email:

Uganda Human RightsCommission, Email: Telephone: +256414348007

• Mr. MartinOchola,Inspector General of Police, Telephone: +256 (0) 712 755 999

Mr. Barasa Ogajo, Resident District Commissionerof Mbale, Telephone: +256772846478, Email:

H.E. ChristopherOnyanga Aparr, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations in Geneva,Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 340 70 30. Email:

H.E. Mirjam Blaak Sow,Embassy of Uganda to the EU in Brussels, Belgium. Fax: + 32 2.763.04.38.,

• H.E. AttilioPacifici, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Uganda, Phone: +256312-701 000, Fax: +256 414-233 708, Email:

• Mr. CathalGilbert, HRD Focal Point, Delegation of the European Union in Uganda, Phone:+256 776 008 187, Email:

Please also write to the diplomaticrepresentations of Uganda in your respective countries.


Paris-Geneva,December 17, 2019

Kindly inform usof any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of HumanRights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is toprevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDHand OMCT are both members of, the European Union HumanRights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact theObservatory, call the emergency line:


Tel and fax FIDH+33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

Tel and fax OMCT+41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / +41 22 809 49 29

[1] The French law on the“duty of vigilance” of parent companies and ordering companies (dated March 27,2017) requires large French companies to establish and implement a vigilanceplan, designed to identify and prevent risks of serious human rightsviolations. @font-face { font-family: "MS Mincho";}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math";}@font-face { font-family: "@MS Mincho";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.MsoFootnoteText, li.MsoFootnoteText, div.MsoFootnoteText { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.MsoHeader, li.MsoHeader, div.MsoHeader { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.MsoFooter, li.MsoFooter, div.MsoFooter { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: rgb(149, 79, 114); text-decoration: underline; }strong { font-weight: normal; }span.Caractresdenotedebasdepage { vertical-align: super; }span.Marquedecommentaire { }span.FooterChar { }span.HeaderChar { }span.FootnoteTextChar { }span.msoIns { text-decoration: underline; color: teal; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { }

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