By Milton Olupot
THE UN special rapporteur on torture, Prof. Manfred Nowak, has urged the Ugandan Government to expedite the enactment of the proposed Prohibition and Prevention of Torture Bill, 2009 as a way of checking the crime of torture.
â€œThe law must treat torture like any other serious offence. Perpetrators of torture must be treated as capital offenders and punished heavily,â€ he said.
Nowak was last week speaking at a public lecture on International Human Rights Law at Protea Hotel in Kampala. He was flanked by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, and Uganda Human Rights Commission chairman Medi Kaggwa,
â€œIt is encouraging that Uganda is in the process of preparing a law that will specifically define what amounts to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. I encourage all stakeholders to stand behind it. It is very important that torture is made a crime in domestic law,â€ he said.
The Prohibition and Prevention of Torture Bill, 2009 is drafted by the Uganda Human Rights Commission in conjunction with the Coalition Against Torture.