Lawyers under the Network of Public interest Lawyers (NETPIL) are considering private prosecution against perpetrators of what they call “acts of torture and the cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment of Ugandans following the Arua by-elections violence.”
Addressing the media in Kampala, the lawyers led by the NETPIL National Coordinator, Arthur Nsereko said the team of over 500 lawyers was concerned about the continued use of excessive force and acts of torture on suspects, media personnel, opposition leaders and members of the public.
Nsereko said the degrading treatment that was mated on Ugandans on Monday by security forces across the city and in other parts of the country was “despicable, deplorable and unacceptable.”
“The acts of violence by the security forces need to be professionally and effectively investigated and individual perpetrators of violence brought to order and to account,” Nsereko said.
“We are ready to prosecute army men and policemen that gruesomely tortured Ugandans and we are gathering all relevant evidence needed to implicate them,” Nsereko said.
Nsereko also accused Court for looking and on and continuing to try victims of torture without questioning and bringing to account the perpetrators.
“Courts of justice have recently been treated to long queues of suspects with glaring signs of torture, tyranny and oppression. Some of those include the 34 people that were arraigned before the Gulu Chief Magistrate emanating from Arua Municipality elections and the 141 Rwenzururu Kingdom loyalists who were arraigned before Jinja Chief Magistrate’s court.”
He quoted Article 126 of the Constitution which enjoins the judicial officers to exercise judicial power in the name of the people and in conformity with the law, norms and aspirations.
“We demand the judiciary and DPP to exercise their independence and be accountable when injustices are seen as opposed to the two appearing to be presiding over the injustices.”