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Experts Warn on Cost Of Treatment, Rehabilitation of Torture Victims

Experts in the field of treating and rehabilitating of torture victims have come out to warn of the increasing costs.

Treatment and rehabilitation of victims, experts say, continues to become more expensive   and nearly impossible for the organizations especially without support from government.

Alfred Okettayot, the Center Manager at the African Center for Treatment of Torture Victims [ACTV] in Gulu, says treatment of individual victims has lately been going for millions of shillings.

He noted for instance that treatment of a person with a dislocated hip bone would require about 25-50 Million shillings.

He cited an incidence in the election violence in Arua in August, where a woman who was tortured by security agencies had to be taken to Agha Khan Hospital in Nairobi for specialized treatment.

Okettayot adds that torture itself has dire and long term consequences on the survivor which include among others trauma, permanent injuries, survivors having to live in isolation and loss of employment.

Isaac Ogwal, a Clinical Psychologist at ACTV revealed that the most common types of torture include in Uganda include beating, burning, sexual torture among others.

Tony Ojok, a Legal Officer at ACTV said the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act which has been around since 2012 is still not understood and properly followed by especially the security personnel.

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This, he says, is what their organization has been embarking on lately.

He further warned that torture is criminal in Uganda and anyone who commits the offence is liable to conviction for imprisonment of 15 years or to a fine of three hundred and sixty currency point or both.

A report released by ACTV shows that about 840 torture survivors were treated in 2017, 429 of who come from Northern Uganda and 405 from Central Uganda.

 

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