Uganda Human Rights Commison has condemned a number of human rights violations, most recently the Seeta incident in which bodyguards of Major General Matayo Kyaligonza, Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi roughed up a traffic police officer.
In a press statement issued this week, the Commission said it was greatly concerned by recent reports in the mainstream as well as social media showing blatant violation of human rights by officers/men from national security organs.
“Most notable was the incident that happened on Sunday 24, February, 2019 at Seeta, Mukono along Kampala – Jinja highway, in which a traffic Police officer Sergeant Esther Namaganda was seen roughed up by two men clad in military police uniform. The military men where identified as bodyguards of Rtd. Major General Matayo Kyaligonza, currently Uganda’s envoy to Burundi who was also at the scene. The police officer had stopped General Kyaligonza’s driver from making a U-turn. Peter Otai, a UBC journalist who recorded the scuffle was also allegedly assaulted by the military men while carrying out his lawful duties,” Commisons’ statement reads.
It adds: “The Commission condemn in the strongest terms the assault of the police officer who was lawfully performing her duties. Worse still, the handling of woman by military security officers is unacceptable and a clear affront of her dignity as a woman.”
In the same statement, the Commission, through its Secretary, Patrick Mabiiho Nyakaana further demands the followings.
One, prosecution of the perpetrators under the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012, which provides for individual liability of the security officers whose actions were in this case tantamount to violations of the victim’s enjoyment of the right to respect for human dignity and Protection from inhuman treatment.
Secondly, thorough investigations of Major General Kyaligonza’s role in the Seeta fracas to establish his innocence or responsibility/liability for acts of his bodyguards in accordance with Section 10 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012.
Also, the Commission demands for transparent, fair, expeditious and Public Process as the law takes its course in bringing the culprits to book.
Thirdly, redress for the victim which should ensure adequate compensation and reparation for the dignity, injury and losses suffered in the process.
The Commsion also demands that the UPDF and Uganda Police Force should immediately institute administrative sanctions against all the individuals identified to have perpetuated the cited human rights violations as a deterrent measures to other security personnel.
Finally, it seeks for deliberate and evident efforts by the leadership of the security organs across the board to isolate and sanction any of their officers when they perpetrate any acts of human rights violations against the citizens of Uganda, regardless of rank or position.