Police have for the sixth year running been named as the leading violators of human rights in the country. In its 18th annual report, Uganda Human Rights Commission-UHRC shows that 486 out of the 731 cases of human rights violations registered in 2015 were made against Police.
Medi Kaggwa, the Chairman UHRC, says most of the complaints rotate around detention beyond the mandatory 48 hours that were filed majorly during the pre-election period. Most of the cases were heard by the tribunal leading to the award of Shillings 219 million.
Kaggwa says the awards were ordered against the Attorney General over violations on the right to personal liberty (detention beyond 48 hours), torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by the Police.
Private individuals account for 130 complaints followed by Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) with 119 cases. “There was notable reduction in the number of complaints registered against most security agencies in 2015.The reason for the reduction in regard to Police, UPDF and Prisons was UHRC’s increased sensitisation of security agents on the concept of human rights and on the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, “the report reads.
Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson declined to respond to the contents in the report, saying the legal department will study it first and make a response. The release of the report comes weeks after the Police came under the spotlight for brutalizing the supporters of former FDC presidential candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye.
The public and opposition criticism prompted the institution to try a number of its officers in the Police court. A separate case has since been filed under public interest against Inspector General of Police (IGP) General Kale Kayihura and other officers at Makindye Magistrates Court.
Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga says the report is timely and will be discussed before the House, considering the recent events.