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ByDiana Kibuuka

Apr 7, 2021


Where as Article 24 of the  Ugandan Constitution provides that no person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment – the  police  has continued to pay a deaf ear to this anti torture law and many related international laws.

During the Three days human rights workshop at Imperial Golf View hotel Entebbe, the United Nations Human Rights  country representative Robert Kotchani noted that the police in Uganda seem not to understand the  country’s constitution especially in relation to torture. Kotchani says there are still gaps to fill in the minds of the police officers  who believe that torture is a tool to get evidence out of a suspect.

 “There can be no instance where torture is admitted and evidence collected via torture can not be used against the  victim  to be convicted” stresses Kotchani.

Elly Kasirye who chairs  the Wakiso district Human rights committee that organized this workshop  for  the police officers in Wakiso explains that the police being too close to the communities,their duty of keeping law and order should  be well versed with  the  laws that directly deal with human rights so that they do not violate  those constitutional rights and freedoms.

In many cases police has been sited using  excess force on people during  demonstrations and  arrests,an act that goes against the reasonable force they are entitled to put to use in cases where the  situation seems to be getting  out of hand, However they are arguments on how  to measure  the magnitude of the said reasonable force in instances where a police officer’s life too is at stake.

The  Assistant police commissioner  in charge of  human rights in Kampala metropolitan  James Kusemelerwa  says police is has  powers to at times use  what can be described  as excess force especially in situations of  life and death, then   after the rest can  be  settled in courts of  laws.

Kusemelerwa,however notes they have  included  human rights into  the  police training  curriculum  and and also arranging  more trainings to equip their men in uniform with at least the  human rights  basics.




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