FACT CHECK: Did Barack Obama And Joe Biden Tweet, ‘#FreeBobiWine’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that former President Barack Obama and President-elect Joe Biden sent tweets advocating for the freedom of Bobi Wine, a presidential candidate in Uganda.

Verdict: False

There is no indication that Biden or Obama sent tweets calling for Wine’s freedom.

Fact Check:

Wine, a former musician, is one of several candidates running against President Yoweri Museveni in the Ugandan presidential election. Wine was detained on Nov. 3 for not limiting crowd size during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The New York Times, though he will still be on the ballot. He returned to his residence shortly after his detention, the outlet reported.

A post shared on Facebook appears to show screen grabs of two Nov. 18 tweets — one from Obama and one from Biden — reading, “#FreeBobiWine.” (RELATED: Does Uganda Only Have 19 Coronavirus Related Deaths Because of Hydroxychloroquine?)

However, both tweets appear to have been fabricated. If Biden or Obama had called for the release of Wine from prison, it likely would have been covered by media outlets, yet none have reported on it.

A search of both Obama’s and Biden’s verified Twitter accounts turned up no matches for the pictured tweets. Biden appears to have last tweeted about Uganda in 2019 in regards to LGBTQ rights. There is no reference from Obama of Bobi Wine on Twitter.

“LGBTQ rights are human rights,” Biden tweeted in October 2019. “Uganda’s proposed new law is inhumane. Using religion or culture to license discrimination is never justifiable. Period.”

Misinformation regarding the 2021 Ugandan election has permeated social media, including a video that falsely claims to show Biden calling for Wine’s release, according to BBC News.

 

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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