Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has sternly lambasted security forces in the country that are in the habit of torturing apprehended suspects.
Katureebe warned today that courts of law will no longer entertain cases where suspects have been brutalized by security.
The Chief Justice while speaking at the groundbreaking event for a JLOS center in Rubirizi district said he had received perturbing information about members of parliament and other people who were tortured while in detention in Arua.
This he said must stop.
“If one is arrested and is handcuffed or tied with a rope, and you have a gun over him, the constitution does not allow you to beat him,” he said.
“Even the Baganda say you cannot wrestle someone down and then bite them.”
“When I was chosen to go to the Constituent Assembly, one of the things we said was that if a person is arrested one of the things which we call non delegable is that this person should never be tortured.”
The Chief Justice told press at the sidelines of the event that he has already written to the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Gen Kahinda Otafiire on the events in Arua.
Katureebe said courts of law even have powers to release a suspect unconditionally if it’s confirmed that he was tortured in detention, even if they were guilty.
“If someone comes and gives a confession in court, they may get off even when they are guilty because you messed up by torturing them.”
The head of the Judiciary thus warned that courts of law will no longer entertain tortured suspects to be charged.
“In court we want to receive people who are alleged to have committed an offence but we don’t want you to bring people in court when they are bleeding, who are unable to walk, with broken backs because they were tortured; those people only belong to the hospital,” he said.
Katureebe also had a moral piece of advice to security officers.
“We know that sometimes the situation is fluid and some people may overreact but we say in that overreaction, once you have already arrested a person and is on handcuffs, don’t torture”
“I think people must understand that what you do to someone today can also be done to you tomorrow.”