By Boris Lemereis and Innocent Anguyo
Local rights bodies have condemned the reaction of police to the spate of violence that shrouded Kampala City in the immediate aftermath of the impeachment of the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.
In a press briefing at Human Rights Network-Uganda (HURINET-Uganda) offices in Kampala on Wednesday, the rights bodies said the actions of the police were unprofessional and in contravention of the law.
The eleven rights bodies from across the country were quick to ask the police to respect the rule of law and independence of the Judiciary during the process of executing their mandate.
Mohammed Ndifuna, the Executive Director of HURINET cited the arrest of Kiwanuka Abdullah, Lukwago’s lawyer as he reportedly proceeded to serve the court injunction during the impeachment of Lukwago as an interruption of a normal judicial process.
“The manner in which the lawyer was arrested was in total disregard of Article 21 of the Constitution and the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012 which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” reiterated Ndifuna.
He also cited the Monday incidence where in Kasubi and Kiseka city suburbs, a group of stick-wielding men dressed in civilian clothes akin to the 2007 Kiboko squad allegedly beat up demonstrators in full view of the police who reportedly did nothing to stop the attackers.
Stemming from the above, the rights bodies urged the police investigate, identify and prosecute the members of the police and the alleged stick-wielding persons working alongside police to perpetrate human rights violations.
“The government should aid the implementation of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012 which makes police officers personally and criminally liable for acts of torture committed against the citizens,” Ndifuna said.