Kampala. Five people from different parts of the city who have been missing for weeks, have been found at the army’s Special Investigations Unit at Kireka.
A team led by the chairman of Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mr Med Kaggwa, visited SID Kireka, a detention facility run by both police and army, and found the suspects were being held incommunicado.
They are Sulaiman Ssenfuka, a resident of Kazo-Angola in Kawempe Division, Robert Lubega, Baker Walusimbi, who was arrested at High Court, Abdulrahman Namwanja and Brian Robert Lukumbuka. The suspects were arrested on unclear offences and none of their relatives or lawyers was allowed to visit them in detention.
“Following the Commission’s intervention, Ssenfuka was produced before court and remanded to prison while Lubega and Namwanja were released. The Commission is working out modalities with security agencies to ensure the rights and entitlements of these and any others that are incarcerated are respected and actualised even while in detention,” Mr Kaggwa told a press briefing at the Commission’s offices in Kampala on Friday.
All suspects except Walusimbi were picked by armed men in civilian clothes.
Their families have been looking for them in different detention facilities but without success. Walusimbi was released by High Court last month after being on remand for 13 years on murder charges of women in early 2000s.
Mr Kaggwa said the Commission is monitoring the situation of Walusimbi and Lukumbuka who are still detained at SID.
The UHRC leadership has also met the heads of security agencies and the minister of Security regarding human rights abuses and agreed on six steps to stop torture. Among the measures agreed upon is charging the perpetuators of these human rights abuses under the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act.
Mr Kaggwa condemned increased cases of arrests by armed security personnel in civilian clothes.
“This practice has caused panic and anxiety among members of the public who have no means of differentiating between genuine security personnel and criminal elements,” he said.
He said when non-uniformed police officers go for an arrest, they must be accompanied by their colleague in uniform so that the public can know that the operation is lawful.
He, however, commended Kampala Metropolitan Police command that carried out an operation against suspects of narcotic drugs and theft in the city last week for observing arrest procedures.
“I was impressed when I saw that the suspects were not beaten as it has been the case. The suspects were handcuffed as the law requires. We also want bundling suspects under seats of patrol trucks to stop because it violates their rights,” Mr Kaggwa said.