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Ex-convict sues government over death of prisoners

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By EPHRAIM KASOZI

Posted  Tuesday, July 15   2014 at  10:59
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KAMPALA.

A former convict who was released last month has asked court to compel the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima to institute an inquiry into the alleged death of two prisoners at Kirinya Prison in 2009.

In the application filed before the Kampala High Court on Monday, Mr Yahaya Lukwago alleges that the deceased prisoners, Abdu Karim and Felix Aroronga were tortured to death while serving their punishments.

Through M/s Rwakafuuzi and Company Advocates, Mr Lukwago sued Gen. Aronda jointly with the Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr Johnson Byabashaija and the Attorney General (AG) alleging that he watched the deceased persons die in prison due to acts of torture inflicted on them by prison authorities.

“The deceased persons died of an unnatural death and as a result of the violent and torture acts of the prison warders for whose acts the respondents are vicariously liable,” reads the court document.

However, prison authorities have since denied responsibility of the said deaths saying the two persons are still alive.

Mr Frank Baine, the Publicist of the Uganda Prisons Service on Monday denied the torture allegations against the force but said the investigation would reveal the truth if granted.

“Anybody who could have died while in prison did not die due to torture because death is everywhere even in hospitals. We shall wait for court pronouncement and action will be taken,” said Mr Baine describing the case as a move to tarnish the ‘Institution of respect.’

He said: “What that is doing seeks to cast prisons in bad light but he (Lukwago) must remember that he failed three times in his mission to organize riots to enable prisoners escape and also announced another person dead and he failed”.

However, in his sworn statement, Mr Lukwago allege that Karim died on August 7, 2009 due to bleeding that resulted from a four days’ beating by prison warders while Aroronga was beaten to death on the night of October 25, 2009 for alleged escape from Arua Prison.

He alleges that the death of the duo constitute to acts of extra-judicial killings by prison authorities which requires a coroner to hold an inquest since deaths occurred while the deceased persons were in prison.

Brief about Lukwago

He was on November 2000 - remanded to Luzira over aggravated robbery

December 2003- convicted and sentenced to death

August 2009 – in condemn section of Kirinya Prison

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