Prison warder tortured over prisoner’s escape

Wednesday April 3 2019

Isaiah Ochen receives treatment Moroto hospital

Isaiah Ochen receives treatment Moroto hospital after allegedly being tortured by his superiors. Photo by Steven Ariong 

By Steven Ariong

Moroto. A prison warder attached to Moroto government prison in Karamoja sub region is currently admitted to Moroto regional referral hospital after he was allegedly tortured by his superiors on allegations of aiding escape of one of the prisoners.

Mr Isaiah Ochen who faces difficulty in breathing and talking, told Daily Monitor that Mr Norman Aruho the officer in charge of Moroto prisons and Mr Latif Muyamba the officer in charge of Soroti prisons beat him before handing him to marijuana smokers to continue beating him.

Mr Ochen says he never aided the escape of the prisoner, adding that he was in Soroti town when the prisoner escaped.

“I sent that very prisoner to buy for me chapatti in the morning before I travelled to Soroti town. Moments later, a colleague called me telling me that the prisons officer in charge of Moroto was looking for me to arrest me. I called him to find out why he was looking for me. He told me to report to Soroti prisons. When I went, the officer in charge of Soroti Prisons is the one that handcuffed me and detained me in the prison cells,” he said.

He added that the Moroto prisons boss travelled to Soroti on Friday and interrogated while slapping him on the face and kicking him.

“I can’t see well, I can’t even sit. If it’s true I had aided the escape of the prisoner as they say, why didn’t them investigate and get the truth than torturing me like this?” he asked.

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Mr Ochen shows one of his eyes damaged while
Mr Ochen shows one of his eyes damaged while being tortured. Photo by Steven Ariong

Moroto regional referral hospital’s acting director, Dr Christopher Ocen confirmed to this reporter that Ochen’s eyes are traumatised as a result of beatings, but said his condition is not now improving.

Aruho and Muyamba of Soroti prisons have however dismissed the allegations by Ochen. Aruho accused Ochen of going to Soroti town without permission from the prisons authorities and Muyamba says Ochen was beaten by the community members after resisting arrest, something that Ochen dismissed.

Mr Frank Baine the public relations officer Uganda prisons confirmed the incident saying the prisons’ authority does not condone torture of the officers and prisoners.

However, he said Ochen has two cases to answer including aiding escape of a prisoner and disserting the institution.

“Ochen has two cases to answer… but he’s free to sue the officers who tortured him and they will be held responsible as individuals,” he said.

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