By Sadam Muballe
The Democratic Party has threatened to sue the government and security officers for continued violation of human rights under the guise of implementing COVID- 19 guidelines
While addressing journalists at the DP headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday , the party legal adviser lawyer Luyimbazi Nalukoola said that the party has assembled a team of lawyers to cause litigation against the culprits in courts of law.
“We, therefore, call upon Ugandans whose rights are violated to take note of the perpetrators and have the record of the details, present them to Democratic Party offices. There is a desk established to handle such cases. We are ready to fight for the people’s enjoyment of human rights,” said Nalukoola
He added that; “The Uganda People’s Defense Forces and Uganda Police Force are responsible for holding errant officers accountable for their actions outside the standing orders of an operation. They have thus decided to put names of their officers on their uniforms for easy identification and instilling discipline in the force.”
He noted that; “It’s against this elaborate procedure that the Democratic Party is appealing to those assaulted by men and women in uniform during this lockdown to take note of them and report to the party offices for free legal services against the errant officers.”
Nalukoola asserted that the Democratic Party also condemns torturing of the recently arrested suspects in the attempted assassination of Gen. Katumba Wamala, who were arraigned in courts of law with wounds, saying that the court should not use information obtained from a person who has been tortured.
“We wish to add our voice in condemning the abuse of judicial processes that emanate from the abuse of suspects’ constitutional rights. We have also heard the voice of the Uganda Law Society denouncing the abuse of the human rights of those facing criminal prosecution and we join in demanding that such prosecution be dropped. There are sufficient authorities to guide the courts as they exercise their discretion to halt the tainted prosecution,” Nalukoola advised.
“As law-abiding citizens and peace-loving Ugandans, it is our wish to see suspects on charges of attempted murder of Gen. Katumba Wamala and in the double murder of Brenda Nantongo and Haruna Kayondo arraigned before court and justice be served but due process must be adhered to,” he added.
The 1995 Constitution prohibits torture where Article 24 provides that: “No person shall be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” It is also worth noting that the right is non-derogable as per Article 44 of the same constitution.
Uganda ratified international and regional instruments against torture including but not limited to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, those instruments prohibit torture and coercion of suspects. The same prohibitions are reechoed in the Ugandan Anti Torture Act of 2012. The Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act No. 3 of 2012 renders information obtained through torture inadmissible in courts of law.
He concluded that; “The Director of Public Prosecution should drop the criminal proceedings against the suspects for they are tainted with illegalities. They are unconstitutional, unsustainable, barred by law, bad in law, and a complete waste of court’s precious time and taxpayers’ money.”
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