Detained Uganda anti-pipeline activist released

Detained Uganda anti-pipeline activist released

An activist with an environmental group campaigning to block a $5bn internationally financed oil pipeline running through Uganda has been released from detention, his employer says.

The Environmental Governance Institute (EGI) said in a statement on Monday that the activist was found abandoned on the side of a road in Kyenjoyo and is now safe.

“Unfortunately, he is in poor condition after enduring severe beatings, mistreatment, and abuse throughout the week. Doctors are conducting various examinations.”

EGI is campaigning to stop the construction of the 1,445km (900-mile) East African Crude Oil Pipeline, which is to carry oil from oilfields in western Uganda to a port on Tanzania’s coast.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) said he was apparently taken by Ugandan army officers in civilian clothing, describing it as a “particularly worrying escalation of repression”.

FIDH said 11 environmental activists “were kidnapped, arbitrarily arrested, detained or subjected to different forms of harassment by the Ugandan authorities between May 27 and June 5, 2024”.

French energy giant TotalEnergies owns the majority of the stake in the pipeline with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and the Ugandan and Tanzanian governments holding minority stakes.