Members of parliament sitting on the Human Rights Committee are going to inspect Nalufenya police facility in Jinja following widespread complaints of torture of suspects there.
According to Kadaga, torturing suspects contravenes article 24 of the Constitution which outlaws all forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as a form of punishment and the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act.
“Following yesterday’s session, I direct the Committee on Human Rights to proceed to Nalufenya to examine the facility and give us a Report,” said Kadaga in her communication from the chair at the start of the plenary sitting of Parliament, Wednesday 17th May, 2017.
Kamwenge Town Council Mayor, Geoffrey Byamukama, and other suspects in the murder of former Police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kawesi have been detained in Nalufenya detention facility in Jinja. The suspects have allegedly been tortured there. Former ADF rebel leader Jamilu Mukulu and other high level suspects have also been detained in the facility.
“Since matters of Human Rights are of prime importance, am directing the committee on Human Rights to proceed to Nalufenya, examine the facility and give us a report,” she said.
Parliament was expected to receive a statement from the ministry of Internal Affairs to inform comprehensive debate on the 2016 Reports of the Human Rights Commission which ranked police highly, regarding abuse of citizen’s rights.
None of the line ministers, however, was in the House prompting the Speaker’s decision.
The Speaker described the alleged torture as ‘crimes against humanity’ and demanded that perpetuators of the acts be charged in court.
“I want to demand on behalf of the citizens that we need to see justice done. Torture is not an issue of the Police Disciplinary Committee,” said Kadaga on Tuesday, adding that “It is a matter of crime against humanity, it is a breach of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act and the perpetrators must be arrested, charged in open court.”
During the sitting, MPs claimed that suspects were tortured and sometimes died in Nalufenya.
The Committee on Human Rights is charged with tracking and reporting on human rights concerns in every business handled by Parliament; and monitors government compliance with national and international human rights instruments to which Uganda is a party and follow up on Government periodic reports to international human rights monitoring bodies.
The Committee on Human Rights is also charged with examining the recommendations in the Uganda Human Rights Commission reports and ensure that Government is held accountable and inquires into any matter relating to human rights in Uganda.
“This debate was deferred from Tuesday because we wanted to get the response from the minister of internal affairs such that we debate the matter comprehensively,” said
Nalufenya, a police detention camp is renown of handling high criminal cases, linked to gruesome murder, terrorism and war crimes among others.
The now infamous centre has attracted widespread criticism from sections of the civil society, Human Rights groups as well as politicians and religious leaders.
The most recent developments include the torture of Mr Geoffrey Byamukama, the Kamwenge District mayor and other suspects linked to the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, a former police spokesperson.
The committee will among other things seek to examine the Status of Nalufenya which falls between a police cell and a prison unit.
President Museveni on Tuesday this week wrote to State Security organs, cautioning them against use of torture in gathering evidence.
The president said that the use of torture does not guarantee reliable confessions.
The Uganda Prisons Services have since distanced themselves from the management of Nalufenya and condemned the scenes of torture reported in the media.