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Police, UPDF 'top violators' of human rightsPublish Date: Feb 20, 2014
Police, UPDF 'top violators' of human rights
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United Nations Human Rights representative Brigil Gergasterberg (left) flanked by legal officer Florence Nakazibwe at the release of the report in Kampala. PHOTO/Wilfred Sanya
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By John Agaba

A new report has named the police as the lead violators of human rights in Uganda.

They are closely followed by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), including the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), in second place.

According to the new report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released Thursday at the Kampala Golf Course Hotel, the security agents top the violators of human rights in the country.

Out of the 909 complaints received by the OHCHR from January 2012 to September 2013, 590 were against the security agents, with the Uganda Police Forces topping the charts with 287 complaints.

The UPDF, together with CMI had 266 complaints against them. Thirty seven complaints were against the Uganda Prisons Service.

The complaints ranged from among others, torture, detention without trial, trial of civilians by the court Martial, and violations of the rights to freedoms of expression, assembly, and association.

The Police forces were quoted mainly in arresting people unlawfully, violating people’s freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and in torture.

However, when contacted, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Ibin Ssenkumbi, reiterated it was wrong for the researchers to compare the forces with the other government organs.

“It is wrong to compare the Police with other organs. It is a mistake. We have a different mandate. And we work differently,” he said.

He said the role of the police is to enforce the law, and not to request people to obey the law.

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