Human Right Violation and Abuses: Arrests and Detention by Uganda and Police – Mukono district in Uganda

Reports of kidnaps, arrests, unlawful detentions, tortures, disappears of National Unity Platform (NUP) coordinators or opposition candidates going on in Mukono district, Uganda. These are few of the many cases being published by Freedom Uganda.

Articles 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

  1. National Unity Platform coordinators from Katoogo Parish, Nama Sub-county in Mukono District detained at Mukono Police Station.

2. Arrested and detained below are Muhammad Kanata, Musa Male and Julius Kiberu. Others from the same area include Isma Ssenkubuge, Sula Kiwanuka, Juma Mukasa, Joseph Kyakuwa, Steven Ntulume, Gaz Kabanda, Ssemipjja, Musa Kajimu and Kharim. All kidnapped by security operatives in Uganda from the villages of Buntaba, Kabembe, Kisowera, Katoogo and Walusubi in Mukono District.

Human Right Violation and Abuses: Arrests and Detention by the Uganda Military and Police

Freedom Uganda reporting some of the many unlawfully arrested and abuse of human rights inflicted by Uganda Police, army and military on the people of Uganda.  On December 30, 2020, many of presidential campaign team for Presidential candidate Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine were arrested by the Uganda military and are held in various detention centers including military barracks. These are few pictures of the many Ugandans unlawfully arrested, kidnapped, detained, tortured, abused and some killed or their whereabouts unknown.

The right is enshrined in Articles 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

BRIEF NUP COURT CASES UPDATE 1

The team of 13 comrades in Lira that was arrested in Kole District last month during #Bobi4President’s campaign in the District got cash bail today but towards evening when banks were already closing. Some of them, thus, got out of jail today but the last member of this team will have been released by end of tomorrow.

2. Sserunkuuma Johnbosco & 13 other supporters of NUP who were tried at Makindye Court Martial and remanded to Kitalya Prison 3 weeks ago for putting on #PeoplePower attire were not returned to Court today. Court Martial officials gave no reason for this but simply stated that their Court will neither sit today nor tomorrow. They proceeded to chase of relatives and lawyers who had gone to represent the suspects. NUP lawyers have embarked on the necessary legal steps to arrest this brazen travesty of justice.

3. The 100+ members of our President’s campaign team who were arrested in Kalangala last week have been granted cash bail of UGX 200K each today by Court in Masaka. They were charged with inciting violence; obstruction of Police officers on duty; and committing negligent acts likely to spread an infectious disease (Covid-19), among other charges.

However, 4 of these including Eddie Mutwe, Kafuko Stanley and Kampala Lookman have been further remanded to Prison until 19th January 2021 after they were read an additional 6 charges related to alleged destruction of police property and assault of police officers, among others. Needless to say that all these are politically-motivated charges preferred against our comrades with the aim of criminalising our President’s lawful campaign and intimidating his supporters.

By end of working hours today, NUP had paid bail fees for 50+ of the comrades, and will conclude the bail procedures for the rest of the comrades tomorrow.

NUP intends to obtain Production Warrants for comrades who have been remanded to Prison — including those whose bail applications were rejected — such that they may regain their freedom sooner than 19th.

Human Rights Uganda Case: Grace Walungama, 30

He was an intern mechanic from Kyambogo University working at a garage in Kosovo, Lungujja. Three security operatives raided the garage and claimed that it was the one supplying the rioters with tires. According to eyewitnesses, the deceased fell to his knees and pleaded that the garage had nothing to do with riots. One of the officers ordered him to go to the road and remove the burning tires to prove that he had nothing to do with it. The deceased pleaded that he could not go there because it was so dangerous and the officer shot him dead. The co-worker of the deceased demanded to know the reason why his friend had been killed and he was killed on the spot. Kampala Metropolitan Police, Lucas Owesigire confirmed the two deaths as reported by New Vision newspaper “I confirm the death of the two people but investigations are ongoing to ascertain the circumstances that followed leading to their deaths,both bodies were conveyed to city mortuary Mulago for postmortem.”


Police Brutality: An upcoming MP speaks out.

No amount of words can express the anguish and pain of watching innocent Ugandans being gunned down just for letting their voices be heard. No conviction sentence can be long enough to pay for the crimes against humanity committed in such a short period – in broad day light.Fellow Ugandans, how long shall we stay silent? How many more must die before we all come out in unison to condemn and even demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Commander in Chief of such criminals? Where are you mothers of this land? Where are you fathers? Brothers and sisters, shall you stay in your confines of your comfort zones as more blood defiles our land?

I say again, this impunity must stop and there is no one to stop it but all of us – Ugandans who love our mother land.It makes one wonder, is it just for the love of power that you are killing your own ‘grandchildren’ or are you protecting what has become your cash-cow? We are aware that you and your mafias have robbed this country clean and have left we – your grandchildren with debt that even our own grandchildren may have to pay. Could this be the real reason you are murdering innocent blood?

Mr. Dictator Sir, I would like to remind you that 37 years ago, you claimed you were fighting for democracy for this country, have you totally lost your memory or were you simply fooling Ugandans? Today, you cannot stand seeing the love Ugandans have showed Hon. Kyagulanyi wherever he goes. How is it possible is the ‘democracy’ you fought for does not allow a Uganda to wave to his fans and supporters?

When you say, you will compensate those who have lost their lives, when you kill a man’s only son, is the money you are going to give going to raise sons for him so that his lineage will continue? Or will your peanuts be there to walk a girl down the aisle on her wedding day? Be informed that no amount of money can replace lives.

I know you are used to grazing cows and can pick and kill one for beef at any time you please, Ugandans are not cows that you can just slaughter and get away with it. The world is watching. The cameras are rolling. The pens are noting. You either stop this madness now and ask for amnesty while you still have a chance, or …………..!I call upon all those who haven’t spoken against this brutality to please come out and join the struggle to stop this slaughter. Do not wait until one of yours becomes a statistics. Speak up now.

I continue to thank Ugandans for coming out boldly and letting your voice be heard and those who have come out to condemn the bloodshed.

People Power. Our Power!

NYEKO DERRICKNUP FLAG BEARER – MP MAKINDYE EAST

Francis Zaake Torture

On April 19, 29-year-old opposition member of Parliament Francis Zaake, a fierce critic of Museveni’s, hired motorcycle taxis to distribute bags of rice and sugar to his destitute constituents. “I could not stand starving mothers and their children camping outside my gate every day for help,” he told reporters.

That evening, Zaake heard commotion outside his house. He was taking a shower, and as he rushed out to put on some trousers, police and army officers broke down his bedroom door and dragged him into a waiting police vehicle. On the way out, they ransacked his house and made off with about $4,000 in cash, according to Zaake and his wife. For the next four days, Zaake said, he was ferried from one detention center to another and kicked, punched, and beaten with sticks while being subjected to periodic interrogations. A stinging substance was poured into his eyes, rendering him temporarily blind—his sight only returning weeks later. At one point, his upper arms were tied behind his back in a position known as the “three-piece tie,” a notorious Ugandan torture method that can damage the shoulders and breastbone. He was then suspended, face down between the seats of a speeding pickup truck, enduring excruciating pain as his body swung to and fro.

Zaake’s captors, who spoke the language of Museveni’s home area, made tribalist slurs against his ethnic group, stepped on his head, and ordered him to swear allegiance to Museveni and his wife, Janet.

While Zaake was in custody, his wife, lawyers, and colleagues were not permitted to see him. He, however, did meet dozens of other Ugandans who had been assaulted and detained for supposed Covid-19-related offenses. University law student Ronald Mark Kizito claimed he was beaten by members of Uganda’s Local Defense Unit—a hastily trained auxiliary force with “shoot to kill” orders—for leaving his lights on. The police say he was beaten by acquaintances for trying to rape a girl and denied that LDU officers had anything to do with it. A woman died of her wounds after being shot by police for supposedly violating the Covid curfew. Another woman was packing up her fried chicken stall in order to meet the curfew, when security men arrived and doused her with hot oil from her own saucepan.

Unable to see, stand, or even sit up, Zaake was eventually delivered to a hospital, where he remained under armed guard, charged with defying presidential orders. He had to be carried to his court hearing, where he lay prostrate on a bench, moaning in agony.

Parliament was incensed. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ordered Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo, who oversees the police, to explain what had happened. The following day, ruling party MP Obiga Kania presented the results of the ministry’s investigation to Parliament. Zaake had injured himself deliberately by banging his body against the side of the police vehicle, Kania declared. He then suffered further injuries in a “scuffle” when he tried to resist being moved from his cell by clinging to the bars.

No Ugandans I know find this credible, and on May 4, five Ugandan opposition leaders wrote to UN Secretary General António Guterres urging him to call on the UN Security Council to suspend all but the most essential humanitarian aid to their country. In Uganda’s fractious political landscape, the five signatories—including popular MP and musician Bobi Wine, whose torture in detention made international headlines in 2018—normally agree on very little. But they do agree that much donor funding to Uganda does more harm than good. They warned Guterres that unless foreign aid is conditioned on strict human rights criteria, it will be used to rig Uganda’s forthcoming election, expected in early 2021, and further militarize the country. A group of civil society activists—including me, the only non-Ugandan—wrote to the IMF a few days later, endorsing this view.

Original article in the Nation by Helen Epstein