Police Under Fire For Mistreating Suspects

pharm geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>The condemnation was spearheaded by the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, sick Hon. Jovah Kamateeka on Wednesday at the national commemoration of International Day for Victims of Torture at Old Kampala Grounds.

Speaking at the event, Kamateeka said it is high time the country moved away from tendencies of Ugandans running for safety every time a police officer shows up.

“Uganda belongs to all of us and everybody must be assured of a right to enjoy themselves in it,” she said.

Police publicist Judith Nabakooba was not available for comment.

But she has in the past denied reports of torturing suspects and that isolated cases of indiscipline among cops have been well handled by the law enforcement’s Professional Standards Unit (PSU).


The event was organized by Uganda Human Rights Commission in partnership with a number of human rights defending bodies as well as international stakeholders, under a locally adopted theme: “Implement the Anti-Torture Law and compensate Torture Victims.”

“We need to unilaterally establish mutual respect between security forces and the citizens, in a way that when one has committed an offence, they are sure that police will do its part and then let the law take its own course,” noted Kamateeka.

She added: “We as Parliament have done our part by putting the (Anti-Torture) law in place, and we keep on summoning officials from the police and other security agencies to explain some of these torture allegations. But the ultimate goal of having perpetrators of torture held responsible will come out of concerted efforts.”

Uganda Police had several times been accused by human rights defenders both locally and internationally, of manhandling individuals especially those on the opposition side, roughing them up, and using teargas and other brutal means of arrest, all on grounds that their actions are likely to cause national insecurity.

“Every day we are treated to these police brutalities on television and print media and that is just what has been caught on camera. Certainly a lot more worse scenes are taking place down there out of our sight,” asserted Kamateeka.

Principle judge Yorokamu Bamwiine who was also at the event said the Judiciary is committed to utilize the new Anti-Torture law in all courts.

He congratulated the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Coalition against Torture, other civil society organization and Democracy.

He also praised the Governance donors for the great role they have played in ensuring the law is enacted by parliament, which operationalizes Articles 24 and 44 of the Constitution.

“As an active partner with human rights defenders, I welcome the law and pledge that judiciary will fully utilize it to offer timely services too torture victims,” he said.

“We also join all stakeholders in demanding immediate compensation of survivors of torture whose livelihoods have in many ways been disrupted or completely obliterated by police and other security organs,” added Bamwiine.

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