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We couldn’t stop China executions, says govt

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By NELSON WESONGA & YASIIN MUGERWA

Posted  Friday, July 18  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Helpless. Justice minister Kahinda Otafiire instead faults convicts for failing to observe China’s laws.

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PARLIAMENT.
Government yesterday said there is nothing it could do for Ugandan suspects in China who broke Chinese laws.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire said the convicts should have “immunised” themselves against execution by observing China’s laws.

“China is a sovereign country. When you go to China where the law says if you are convicted of drug trafficking, you will be executed, we (government) have nothing we can do,” Maj Gen Otafiire told Parliament.

“The first immunisation against execution is the observance of China’s law. Do not blame the government [of Uganda]. The best you can do is do not take drugs, period,” he added, a statement that drew laughter from legislators.
Last month, China executed two Ugandans that its courts had convicted of drug trafficking.

Govt stance
Soon afterwards, some of the relatives of Ugandans currently in the Far East asked the government to reassure them about their kin’s security in the Orient.

Against this backdrop, some leaders asked the government to negotiate with China to extradite the Ugandans who face prison sentences in China for various offences.

But Gen Otafiire said Uganda does not have a repatriation agreement with China – though the government “has initiated talks with China to have our prisoners who are convicted in China exchanged with us though the agreement is not yet through”.
However, MPs urged the government to push for the repatriation of the Ugandan convicts who are currently in China.

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