Uganda's popstar opposition MP Bobi Wine freed on bail

Musician turned politician, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi commonly known as "Bobi wine" (C) shakes hands with his supporters in a suburb of Kampala on June 30, 2017.

(CNN)Ugandan politician Bobi Wine was granted bail Thursday after spending several nights in a maximum security prison.

Wine is facing charges of "unlawful procession" for staging a protest over Uganda's controversial social media tax last year.
The pop star MP pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance via digital video link from the Luzira prison.
"I'm confident because indeed it's not me on trial; it's the court itself on trial. I have not committed any crime," Wine said in court.
    "I'm only here because I disagree with the political leadership of this country and in particular President Museveni. But my spirit is confident because I'm here not because I've stolen public funds or killed somebody," he added.
    In July 2018, the lawmaker joined hands with activists and thousands of Ugandans in a demonstration against an unpopular tax that would see citizens pay a levy of 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.05) daily to use sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
    The tax pushes the cost of internet access further out of reach for millions of low-income and unemployed Ugandans, the World Wide Web Foundation said.
    The number of internet subscriptions in the country dropped by more than 2.5 million following the introduction of the tax, according to the Uganda Communications Commission.
    Wine, 36, has been in a standoff with authorities in Uganda since April when police surrounded his home a day after canceling his nationwide shows because they said they failed to meet required safety standards.
    The singer was removed from his car by police and escorted to his home while heading to a briefing he had called to address the concert cancellation and "police brutality."
    Police in Uganda said the lawmaker had repeatedly shown a disregard for the law after he was arrested last week.
    "He faces additional charges of holding an illegal assembly and procession, after he was accused of organizing his supporters to escort him along the way," the police said in a statement.
    Uganda Communications Commission on Wednesday issued an order for the suspension of journalists and news managers in 13 radio and TV stations over the live coverage of news events.
    The regulatory body in a statement on its website claimed the stations' contents did not meet "minimum broadcasting standards," but local media reported the order came after the stations aired Wine's arrest on television.
    Amnesty International has called the order a "blatant attack" on press freedom.
    The directive could lead to a state censorship of the media, the rights group said, and asked the regulatory body to reverse the order.
    "Ugandan authorities must immediately rescind this decision and end the harassment and intimidation of journalists and media houses. Journalists must be allowed to freely do their job," said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
    Wine has vowed to unseat Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, in the 2021 elections and has since been a thorn in his side.
    He won his parliamentary seat as an independent in 2017 and has since rallied opposition lawmakers in his bid to end Museveni's three-decade rule.
      His performances scheduled to hold in Uganda were canceled last year, and some of his songs that are highly critical of the government have been banned in the past.
      Wine was charged with treason last August and was only released from prison following widespread protests and intense pressure from activists and governments around the world.