Gov't Pinned on Human Rights Violation
A new report by the Human Rights and Peace Centre-HURIPEC under Makerere University School of Law launched today reveals continuous abuse of civil and political rights in the country. Titled "The abuse of civil and political rights in the era of Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo", the report tracks rights violations since 2016 when the fifth term of President, Yoweri Museveni started.
The investigations covered cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, as well as violation of the right to a fair hearing, freedom of association and assembly, right to culture and religion and habeas corpus.
The report says there is a connection across the country of human rights violations especially arbitrary arrest and illegal detentions, torture of suspects, as well as extrajudicial killings. The report cites Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF), Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) as the main perpetrators.
The report documents 133 cases of extrajudicial killings in 36 districts, 48 in 2016, 34 in 2017 and 51 in 2018. The report also found out that 40 people were unlawfully deprived of life by UPDF soldiers in 12 districts, 62 by police through extra judicial killings in 26 districts and 31 killings by UWA rangers were recorded between March 2016 and December 2018 in seven districts during the period under study.
HURIPEC Director, Dr. Zahara Nampewo said the increasing violation of rights is caused by lack of political will and negative political interests, disregard for rule of law, ambiguities in laws and increased involvement of UPDF in ordinary law enforcement operations that should be done by police.
Court of Appeal Judge, Kenneth Kakuru said the report raises serious concerns, which must be condemned by all Ugandans. He asked government to stop criminalising political activism.
But Justice Kakuru asked human rights activists to appreciate the strides made by government the over years. Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo said they welcome the report because some of its findings are consistent with what they already have.
He however, said they hadn't received the report in advance to respond to specific cases.