80% of 21 torture cases in courts pin security – says Human Rights Focus

A torture victim. Photo by The Observer

Gulu – 19, August 2021: The Human Rights Focus has cited that more than 80 percent of torture cases in various courts within Uganda involves security personnel and partly civilians.

Francis Odonyoo, the Executive Director Human Rights Focus disclosed that for a period of six years now, security personnel have gotten involved in torturing of people.

Odonyoo added that some cases in the courts have been reported as early as 2012 and till now some of these cases have not been heard.

“Out of the 21 torture cases, 9 cases where heard before different courts and ruling passed but till now the government has not paid the compensation money of Uganda shillings 380 million.”

Alfred Oketayot, the program manager, African Centre for Treatment & Rehabilitation of Torture Victims in Northern Uganda, says, “Human torture when reported to authorities, there is little action taken on the perpetrators who have tortured the victims.”

“We condemn all act of torture and security must take priority in protecting people’s rights but not torturing them,” he adds.

Last week, President Museveni upbraided ‘his’ security officers for torturing civilians and asked them to stop it. Read more: Museveni

There have been numerous public uproars on torture by security agencies while the security does fail to investigate into the matters reported to them.

A case of Brian Opiyo who died as a result of torture from Gulu, in June 2021; a serving UPDF soldier allegedly acting on command of Lieutenant Colonel Onekalit Hillary tortured Olanya Emmanuel in Bardege division in Gulu city over suspected theft of a battery, among other claims.

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