THIS article is in response to Joseph Kisaraleâ€™s story, â€œPolice suspects should not be torturedâ€ in The New Vision of November 13. His article was in reference to the Police forcing suspects to sit underneath the seats on the Police pick-ups.
He is absolutely right in his advocacy roles and I appreciate his vigilance. However, on many occasions the public portrays the Police as an institution that does not respect and uphold the rule of law.
I would like to state that the Police respect and uphold the rule of law. What we ask all stakeholders to do is to be realistic and challenge us where we go wrong, support us in making the processes work as we serve and protect the people.
The issue of suspects sitting beneath the seats in a pick-up is inappropriate, but I doubt it would amount to abuse of the rights of suspects. What Kisarale does not know is the nature of suspects and how we need to safely transport them using the available resources.
Some are violent, others may jump off the fast running vehicle whereas others have tried to strangle officers on the vehicle. Should the Police stop operating until we get decent means of transporting our suspects? I doubt anyone wants this to happen.
Some human rights activists like Kisarale perturb me when they selectively and intelligently carry out their attacks on institutions. Worse still, the use of inappropriate language and the ignorance of some issues cannot go unchallenged.
Kisarale states that it is only the courts of laws that have the competence to handle crime. A human rights activist should not only be bold to defend these rights, but should also be knowledgeable to avoid turning into a laughing stock in the eyes of those he claims to speak for.
It is important to appreciate the criminal justice system and know Police procedures. Only then can the likes of Kisarale authoritatively help people in pointing out flaws that need to be rectified in the course of Police duty.
Kisarale, in his article says: â€œThe Policeâ€™s unethical and uncultured practices are never recorded anywhereâ€¦.â€ This is an inaccurate statement. As an advocate of good practice, Kisarale ought to be a role model. Use of appropriate language and having accurate information is vital. It is only accurate information that can make human rights activists realistic when demanding accountability to the public.
The writer is the political commissar, Kampala Metropolitan Police
Fill in your Name and Email Address to receive a Free Newsletter
Human rights activists should be realistic