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MPs, As Earlier Warned, Blocked from Accessing “Safe Houses”

Members of Parliament on the Human Rights committee were on Tuesday denied access to alleged safe houses within Kampala .

Legislators on the committee, who have been investigating the alleged torture of suspects in safe houses, set off from Parliament today morning with journalists to Nakasero, Kyengera and Nkokojeru where they have been told there are safe houses.

A number of witnesses gave MPs locations where they were allegedly held and mistreated.

Soldiers manning the gates of the suspected safe houses,  adhering to their duty code, told MPs led by Jenepher Nantume of Buvuma District that there was no orders to allow the legislators to the facilities.

MPs were told to seek permission from the Internal Security Organization Director General, Col. Kaka Bagyenda to get access to facilities under the body.

Legislators and journalists returned to Parliament without entering a single safe house.

Member of the committee Robert Kyagulanyi from Kyadondo East told journalists during the return journey that the development confirms the allegations of torture against security agencies.

“This on spot visit has exposed the human rights abuses by these ISO operatives who have been arresting people in a gangster style,” said Robert Kyagulanyi commonly known as Bobi Wine.

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Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwiine who oversees Internal and External Security Organization told legislators in the same committee recently that safe houses exist but for critical security purpose not for torture.

Gen Gen Tumwiine has earlier during one of the the committee sittings told the MPs that they would not be allowed to access the safe houses.

He said safe houses are for protection of endangered witnesses, coordination of intelligence and operations and protection of victims among others.

Tumwiine noted that intelligence agencies world over use safe houses.

 

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