The cases included the violation of rights to personal liberty for persons detained beyond 48 hours, violation of the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment and violation of the right to life.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission Tribunal has awarded a sum of 116.7 million Shillings to six victims of human rights violations.
The tribunal sitting in Soroti heard seven cases of human
rights abuses perpetrated by the Police and Soldiers in the districts of
Soroti, Ngora, Bukedea and Amuria. The cases included the violation of
rights to personal liberty for persons detained beyond 48 hours, violation of the right to
freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment
and violation of the right to life.
The victims, whom the commission in Soroti asked to remain
anonymous were abused between 2008 and 2010 at Soroti Central Police Station,
Ngora Central Police Station, Soroti Military Barracks and Kidongole Police
Post in Bukedea district. The others were shot indiscriminately by the men in
uniform during Christmas celebrations in Amuria district.
The tribunal presided over by the Commissioner, Shifra
Lukwago awarded compensation ranging from 2.4 to 76 million Shillings to each of the victims depending on
the circumstances of the case. All the cases and the awards are against the
Attorney General that was represented by Juliet Topaco and Eric Mukisa.
It is the first tribunal in Soroti since 2019 when the
commission lost the chairperson, Med Kaggwa. When asked why the commission is
handling cases reported more than 10 years back in Soroti, Sarah Nakhumitsa,
the Regional Human Rights Officer for Soroti said that they had some challenges
in the constitution of the tribunal.
//Cue in; “We used to have…
Cue out…we can.”//
Nakhumitsa told URN that her office has picked interest in human rights abuses in Kaberamaido where some suspects
reportedly spend weeks in the police cells. According to reports in Kaberamaido, some suspects spent almost
a month in Kaberamaido Central Police Station last December before they were
taken to court.