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Budgetary Constraints Hampering Compensation of Government Torture Victims

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Government has failed to clear its outstanding debt to victims of human rights abuse because of funding shortages, the Solicitor General has said.



Lucien Tibaruha the Solicitor General says the Ministry of Justice cannot pay compensation awarded by the Uganda Human Rights Commission to victims of torture and human rights abuse because of funding constraints. He says the Ministry of Justice has not been granted sufficient budgetary allocations to clear the 410 billion shillings it owes.



Tibaruha explains that the budgetary allocations are linked to revenue collected by the Uganda Revenue Authority, an issue over which the Ministry of Justice has no control.



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Records from the Uganda Human Rights Commission indicate that awards dating back to 1998 are still unpaid. The awards result from cases in which individuals successfully sought the intervention of the Human Rights Commission for being tortured by Government agents.



The unpaid awards to 52 torture victims range from one million to 59 million shillings depending on the gravity cases.



The Solicitor General says Government attempts to clear the oldest cases first. However he says that sometimes he receives cases involving people who may be terminally ill or facing a number of emergences and need to be dealt with immediately.

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