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Rights body condemns police brutality

By Moses Mulondo

Added 12th November 2019 02:40 PM

Quoting articles 24 and 44 of the constitution, the Catholic bishops in their statement dated November 8, 2019, said all people, including security officers, are supposed to respect human dignity.

Kamadi 703x422

Quoting articles 24 and 44 of the constitution, the Catholic bishops in their statement dated November 8, 2019, said all people, including security officers, are supposed to respect human dignity.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has condemned police’s continued brutality against journalists and other Ugandans, arguing it is not good for the country’s development.

While meeting with executive members of Uganda Journalists Association, Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA), and Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), UHRC head of research and documentation Kamadi Byonabye wondered why the leadership of police have continued to turn deaf ears on the brutality of their officers.

“This conduct by police must stop.  I don’t know why they are always full of anger against Ugandans who feed them and pay for their uniforms, guns and all other things they use,” Kamadi stated.

As an institution mandated to fight for the rights of Ugandans, Kamadi said UHRC gets shocked to see police brutalizing Makerere University students, journalists and opposition politicians.

UHRC proposed the need for police to have a dialogue with various categories of aggrieved Ugandans including journalists and opposition leaders to end the violent incidents.

Kamadi argued that the chaos that erupts after police confronting various categories of Ugandans damages the image of Uganda and scares away tourists and investors.

“As a country we need to end police brutality. It reflects us as a disorganized society. It is not good for our development and democracy,” Kamadi elaborated.

The UHRC official commended the catholic bishops for the statement they issued to condemn police brutality against Ugandans.

Quoting articles 24 and 44 of the constitution, the Catholic bishops in their statement dated November 8, 2019, said all people, including security officers, are supposed to respect human dignity.

Arguing that security forces are subordinate to civilian authority, Kamadi urged Uganda’s security forces to treat all Ugandans with dignity and respect.

In recent weeks, the media have been awash with reports of police and army officers brutalizing Makerere University students, journalists, and opposition leaders.

Police brutality has been widely condemned by civil society groups, parliament of Uganda, journalists’ associations as well as development partners.

UPPA, UJA, and UHRC penned a joint petition which they handed over to the leadership of Uganda Police Force, calling for lasting solutions to police brutality.

The trio proposed the need for the leadership of police to constitute a committee with lawyers and experts on human rights to develop a well-researched strategic plan for redeeming police’s image through a set of short-term and long-term measures for ending police’s violation of the rights of Ugandans.

Uganda Human Rights Commission, UJA, UPPA, and HRNJ were yesterday's meeting to prepare for a National Public Dialogue on the Welfare of Journalists which is slated to take place on December 6, 2019.

The dialogue will bring together stakeholders from media houses, journalism training institutions, development partners, civil society, relevant committees of parliament, relevant ministries and state agencies to discuss measures that need to be undertaken to address the challenge of poor remuneration for journalists who play a fundamental role in nation-building.   

Some of the measures the organizers intend to advocate for is a call for exempting media houses from paying taxes as many countries have done since journalism is a public good which should be accessed free of charge or at a subsidized rate. Ends…/

 

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