Uganda's jailed opposition leader says he fears for his life in a maximum-security prison.

Appearing in court Wednesday over his treason charges, Kizza Besigye told a magistrate he wants a speedy trial. He cited cases of political prisoners who he said died under mysterious circumstances while in detention.

The charges against Besigye relate to his refusal to accept the legitimacy of President Yoweri Museveni, who won a disputed election in February. Besigye claims he won the polls.

A lawyer for the opposition leader, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, recently told The Associated Press there is concern Besigye may be poisoned while in jail.

Besigye broke ranks with Museveni in 1999 and has since been the most prominent opposition leader in Uganda.

Museveni has been in power since 1986.