By Biodun Busari
Ugandan police on Monday arrested at least eight Arsenal fans celebrating the club’s win over their Premier League rivals, Manchester United.
The fans who wore the club’s red jersey and displayed a symbolic trophy were arrested in the Ugandan city of Jinja, according to BBC.
Police said they did not have a permit to hold the march which was against public order.
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Mikel Arteta guided Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-2 yesterday as Eddie Nketiah scored the late-minute winner in Sunday’s fierce match at Emirates Stadium.
The victory gave the Gunners a five-point bolster at the top of the table, brightening the prospect of the club and their supporters that an end could come to the 19-year wait to win the English Premier League.
The Arsenal fans were travelling in a convoy of five vehicles on Monday morning when they were stopped by police.
BBC said one of them was carrying a trophy they had bought at a local store.
“I don’t know what we have done but we were simply celebrating our victory over rivals Manchester United,” Arsenal fan Baker Kasule said.
James Mubi, the regional police boss and a self-declared Arsenal fan, said had not reviewed the fans’ charges but wondered why they were celebrating when only half of the matches in the season had been played.
“What would happen if an altercation with rival fans broke out? They did not inform the police to provide security for their procession,” Mubi said.
Rights groups say the Public Order Management Act has given police discretionary powers that have been used to stifle citizens’ rights.
According to a lawyer and rights activist, Agather Atuhaire, the police continue “to be high-handed even after the Constitutional Court nullified all the draconian provisions that gave them unfettered powers to restrict the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association and assembly.”
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