EDITORâ€”The police have on several occasions paraded suspects before the media and the public. This is understandable especially regarding the pressure the public puts on the police to bring criminals to book and the gravity of crimes such suspects are
Article 23 of the Constitution of Uganda guarantees that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law. Parading one before the press handcuffed is dehumanising. Suspects are forced to sit down as the police jubilate over their â€˜victoryâ€™. This erroneously suggests that as long as one is arrested one must be guilty.
This perception negates the role of the courts which are supposed to determine whether one is guilty or not. Such humiliated suspects are sometimes later acquitted by the courts but no damages are paid to them for the humiliation they have suffered.
The police as an institution may be doing all this in good faith especially when their respect in the public eye is waning but this shouldnâ€™t stop them from examining the dire consequences of their actions on suspects. besides, there are better ways of regaining public respect through committed work, shunning corruption and making sure criminals are brought to justice.
This can be done with the support of the entire justice, law and order sector where investigation and prosecution can be done in a speedy and fair manner. Lack of confidence in the justice system could lead to mob justice especially on suspects who might be innocent.
Parading suspects is violation of human rights