Law report drips with Kakwenza torture blood

Some of the torture marks on Kakwenza’s back. PHOTOS/ DAVID LUBOWA/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The report dubbed: “The State of Rule of Law in Uganda, First Quarterly report 2022,” notes that there have been a series of abductions leading to torture.

Run-away satirical novelist Rukirabashaija Kakwenza has dominated the first quarterly rule of law report released by the Uganda Law Society in Kampala last week.

The report dubbed: “The State of Rule of Law in Uganda, First Quarterly report 2022,” notes that there have been a series of abductions leading to torture.

“At the beginning of this year, Ugandan novelist, writer and government critic, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who was charged with offensive communication, appeared in court over allegedly insulting Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba on social media,” the report reads in part.

“He was arrested and kept incommunicado and without disclosure of the whereabouts of his detention. It was later discovered that he was detained at CMI where he was tortured,” the report adds.

The other torture-related incidents in the report are a list of 121 prisoners admitted with injuries between January 2020 and January this year with some being allegedly tortured by security forces.

The lawyers also cited the arrest of nine journalists working with Digi talk Tv alongside their equipment such as computers and mobile van in anticipation that they were to launch books critical of the government.

Recommendations

In their report, the lawyers recommended that the police and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions arrest suspects within the confines of the law and detain them in a lawful detention centres.

“Security authorities are mandated to follow the law while exercising their duties of arresting suspects. Perpetuators of injustice during arrests should be tried and punished in courts of law,” the lawyers state.

“Perpetrators should always be personally charged under the Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2019. The human rights Act gives effect to Article 50 (4) of the Constitution by providing for procedure of enforcing human rights under chapter four of the constitution and related matters,” they add.

They also recommended that the judicial system and security forces need urgent retooling in human rights, rule of law and redefinition of roles between the police and UPDF.

Ms Pheona Nabasa Wall, the president of the Law Society, said: “Under the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, if a prison officer receives a suspect with physical marks, they are required under the law to probe, report and document the cause of the injuries.”

Other rule of law incidents cited include; escalating cases of human trafficking, violation of economic rights, violation of the right to property.

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