Lets stop torture and impunity


As the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government celebrated 36 years on January 26 concerns  have continued  being raised on escalating cases of arbitrary arrests, detention and torture especially of opposition members, and impunity.

Repression directed at members of the public especially the youths by security agencies and rising cases of “abductions” and impunity have made Ugandans insecure and at the same time tainted government’s image.

Security agencies are accused of using excessive force in arresting and detaining suspects sometimes incommunicado. Suspects are detained far beyond the constitutionally acceptable 48 hours   before being produced in courts of law. There are also allegations by the opposition political parties that some of their members are being detained  in unknown locations while  wherabouts of others cannot be traced as they are stifled. 

The biggest casualties are supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) who are rounded  up in  a “kidnapped” fashion, arrested and confined to Luzira , Kitalya  and Kigo  prisons.  Some detainees claim they have been denied  access to their lawyers, medicalcare and family members.

Whereas the Police has a duty to detect crime and arrest whoever they  link to crime, the manner in which suspects are apprehended and tortured while in detentionm, leaves a lot to be desired.

Security agencies have been shown on Television and social media beating up suspects some of whom are dumped in dreaded mini buses commonly known as “Drones”.

Some suspects have been produced in court with severe body injuries, rotting wounds and scars all over their bodies. They claim to have been tortured while in incarceration .

On February 17, 2021 military Police beat up and injured 10 journalists covering NUP President  Hon Robert Kyagulanyi “alias” Kyagulanyi  as he delivered a petition to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kampala.

Ironically Hon Kyagulanyi’s petition was to protest human rights abuses that included abduction of his supporters in the run up to and after the January 14, 2021 Presidential elections.

Police and other security agencies should use minimum force in apprehending suspects and should consider respect for human rights as key factor in their work.

There is need to investigate, apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of crimes against humanity in their individual capacities. Human rights  offenders should be forced  to compensate victims for bodily injuries and property destroyed. Lets end impunity and restore the rule of law in Uganda ■


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