A court on Tuesday had ordered the novelist’s release on bail, with the proviso that he not speak to reporters before the conclusion of his trial on charges of offending President Yoweri Museveni and his powerful son on social media.
But his lawyer said that instead of being freed, the award-winning writer was “kidnapped” from prison several hours later by armed men in plain clothes.
Rukirabashaija — who his lawyers say has been tortured since his arrest in late December — was charged on January 11 with “offensive communication” over a series of unflattering Twitter posts about Museveni and his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
The author won acclaim for his 2020 satirical novel, “The Greedy Barbarian”, which describes high-level corruption in a fictional country.
He was awarded the 2021 PEN Pinter Prize for an International Writer of Courage, which is presented annually to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.
The United States, the EU and civil society groups had voiced concern about his detention and called for his release.