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Govt warned on torturing suspectsPublish Date: Aug 27, 2009
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By Steven Candia

THE African Union (AU) commission on human and peoples’ rights yesterday asked the Government to adopt other methods to extract information from suspects instead of torturing them. This is part of the union’s efforts to stop the vice.

Addressing the media in Kampala yesterday, commissioner Catherine Dupe Atoki said: “There is no basis for using torture. There are scientific methods of getting information which the Government should invest in.”

Atoki noted that although torture was still prevalent in the country, she was impressed with local efforts to eradicate it and improve the observance of human rights.

She commended the anti-torture Bill, which seeks to criminalise torture when passed into law, saying it indicated the desire to rid the country of torture.

If passed into law, Atoki said, Uganda will join only a small number of African nations that have criminalised torture.

“There are about only four countries in Africa that have criminalised torture.”
She said the criminalisation of torture would be in harmony with Article Five of the African Charter on human rights and other international instruments.

The commission’s legal officer, Sheikh Tijan Hydara, noted that the fact that the anti-torture Bill had the backing of the Government was impressive.

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