Back to Africa Check

No, Uganda’s human rights commission didn’t dismiss opposition man’s wounds, tweet is fake

IN SHORT: Social media posts allege that Uganda’s human rights commission said the open wounds of an opposition member were faked. But this is based on a fabricated tweet.

In what looks like a screenshot of a tweet, Uganda’s human rights commission appears to accuse a supporter of an opposition leader of faking torture claims. 

The tweet in the screenshot, posted on Facebook, reads: “We have seen edited pictures of Mr. Eric Tumwesigwa alleging torture by CMI. Our investigations as the @UHRC_UGANDA show that the victim has applied food colors to depict torture.”

It ends: “We are used to NUP antics of rabble rousing! Kindly disregard the sympathy card.”

Eric Mwesigwa is a supporter of Robert Kyangulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine. After a violent election campaign, Uganda went to the polls on 14 January 2021. Wine, a popular musician, lost to president Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986. 

NUP refers to the National Unity Platform, the political party led by Wine, while the CMI is the military intelligence unit of the Ugandan army. 

Wine has repeatedly accused Museveni and the ruling National Resistance Movement of human rights abuses.

Mwesigwa first went missing and when he resurfaced in early February 2023 with two open wounds on his chest, he said he had been tortured by security personnel.

Wine supported Mwesigwa’s claims of torture on Twitter.

A military spokesman denied the allegation in a statement, claiming the man was “not in the hands of any security agency”, but the comments angered others, amid continuing allegations of torture in Uganda.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission, or UHRC, investigates alleged violations, either on its own initiative or in response to a complaint from an individual or group. Mwesigu recorded a statement with the UHRC after his alleged ordeal. 

But did the commission really invalidate his claims, saying he faked his wounds?

HRCUganda_Fake

Fake tweet

On 14 February 2023, the commission posted the screenshot of the circulating tweet on its official Twitter account, stamping it “FAKE”.

“Please disregard this!” the UHRC wrote.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on africacheck.org.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.