The global association of national Parliaments known as Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) currently sitting in Geneva, Switzerland has raised strong concerns on the alleged torture of Members of Parliament during the Arua municipality by election.
The exclusive body of Parliaments, with membership from 178 countries, singled out four countries including Uganda, Venezuela, Turkey and Cambodia where the rights of MPs are reportedly being abused at home.
The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians which sat for its 157th session on Thursday took position on human rights violations of 295 MPs in 13 countries.
According to statement published on the IPU website, the committee scrutinized the August 14th 2018 incident in Arua which resulted to the arrest of five MPs.
“The committee examined the case of five Ugandan opposition MPs including Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known as Bobi Wine. The MPs were violently arrested on 14 August 2018 in the district of Arua, after President Museveni’s convoy was allegedly pelted with stones,” said the statement.
The IPU Human Rights Committee noted that “credible” reports indicate that Kyadondo North MP, Bobi Wine and his Mityana Municipality counterpart, Francis Zaake were tortured.
The body commended the Ugandan Parliament for forming an adhoc committee that went to Gulu to assess the situation of MPs then under detention. The report of the adhoc committee pinned security mainly the army for mistreating MPs during detention.
The Leader of Government Business, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda however rejected the report and urged the house not to adopt it.
The IPU has requested to send a fact-finding mission and to dispatch a trial observer to ensure that the human rights of the five MPs, all charged with treason, are fully respected and also to meet President Yoweri Museveni.
The committee meets three times a year to hear both complainants and the parliamentary authorities. Based on these hearings and other information, the committee takes position and its decisions are adopted by the IPU’s Governing Council.