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(Nairobi, June 7, 2024) – Stephen Kwikiriza, a Ugandan environmental defender who has spent many years documenting the human rights impact of the Kingfisher Development Area, an oil and gas project connected to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda, apparently has been detained by the Ugandan military. His organization, the Environmental Governance Institute, reported that he has not been heard from since he sent a text message to a colleague on June 4, 2024, saying that he had been arrested by plainclothes Ugandan military officers.

The following quote can be attributed to Myrto Tilianaki, senior environmental rights advocate at Human Rights Watch:

“Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned by the apparent unacknowledged detention of environmental defender Stephen Kwikiriza. The Ugandan authorities should urgently and impartially investigate Kwikiriza’s detention and secure his immediate release. The Ugandan government needs to end its harassment of opponents of oil development in the country, such as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project, which has already devastated thousands of people’s livelihoods in Uganda and, if completed, will displace thousands of people and contribute to the global climate crisis.” 

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