Lawyers under the Network of Public Interest Lawyers (NETPIL) on Friday launched a Rapid Legal Response team of 18 lawyers established to provide free legal services to all vulnerable people who will be need legal aid as they exercising their rights in the ongoing election period.
This initiative, according to NETPIL, is targeting people like journalists, politicians, the poor and human rights defenders who will be attacked or arrested while exercising their rights in line with the provisions of the law during the pre and election period.
During the launch held at Golden Tulip Hotel Kampala, Arthur Nsereko, the coordinator for NETPIL said that they will not only end at provision of legal services but they will also provide emergency services to the victims.
“By emergency services, we are looking at the unforeseen unplanned or imminent occurrences that affect the life, health, safety or welfare of individuals,” Nsereko said.
He also promised that they will coordinate with authorities to ensure that people’s rights are not violated in this period as it has been in the past years and thus asked for alliance when the need arises.
Nsereko, however, warned the people to not commit crimes with the hope that there is a stand-by team of lawyers ready to help them because “we will only stand in for those who are acting in accordance with the law.”
Pheona Wall, the Uganda Law society President, advised Government to focus on addressing people’s grievances before the situation escalates to violence which ends up in destruction of property and violation of people’s rights.
She asked an immediate action against all corrupt officials especially those who participated in swindling finances meant for health services since its part of the rights that deserves to be protected like the rest.