Victims of torture
are failing to get justice due to a lack of documented evidence presented
before the courts of law.
Nasulu Ntalo, the Deputy Registrar of the Gulu High Court Circuit says most
torture cases referred to court are dismissed because there is no strong
Although he didn’t provide exact statistics on the cases of torture that the High
Court in Gulu receives, Ntalo says the majority of the victims don’t get
justice because there is no tangible evidence connecting their allegations.
“There is a…
Cue out:… no
Speaking at a dialogue to celebrate the International Anti-Torture day in Gulu
City on Tuesday, Ntalo says torture cases are on the rise in the region and
called for concerted efforts of all stakeholders to curb it.
Annually, every June 26, the world commemorates the International Day in
Support of Victims of Torture, which came into effect following a resolution
passed by the United Nations on December 12, 1997.
Ntalo however says some of the torture cases reported are not followed up by
the victims making it impossible for the court to handle such cases.
“There are many…
Cue out:…in fair way.”//
Pasipau Chirwa, Team Leader Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in
Gulu says Documentation is important in establishing facts that are used in
courts to promote accountability.
She says it is thus important to establish a clear guideline on how torture
cases can be documented to ensure that there is effective prosecution of such
“documentation is therefore…
Cue out:…of such cases.”//
Chirwa however notes that whereas Uganda has good legislation and policies
prohibiting torture, the vice has continued to prevail adding that there is a
need to carry out more investigation to understand the rising trend.
Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012 (Act 3 of 2012) provide that
no person shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading
treatment or punishment.
//cue in: “legislation is in…
the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture (ACTV) a total
of 4,528 torture survivors were registered and offered rehabilitation and
counseling services between 2015 and 2018.
organization also according to its report has been recording more than 1,000
cases of torture across the country annually.
Jacob Olweny, 43, a medical worker in Kitgum Municipality is among some of the
torture victims who are yet to get justice following an assault by Local Defence
Unit-LDU personnel during the Covid-19 lockdown in July 2020.
Olweny says he was hit on the head with a gun butt and kicked several times by
LDU soldiers while heading to work at night despite showing his identification
and clearance letter as an essential worker.
“It was around…
that he spent two months nursing his injuries at St Joseph’s Hospital in Kitgum
but was later terminated by his employer on account of ill health. According to
Olweny, although he had reported the matter to the Police in Kitgum, he was
referred to the Office of the Resident District Commissioner where the case has
since been buried.
“when I reported…
Onigo, the Head of the Professional Standard Unit (PSU) in the Aswa River
Region admitted that the level of discipline in the Police force declined below
standard making investigations a hurdle.
that some of the detectives record cases that are full of errors leading to the
arrest of wrong suspects who are later apprehended and tortured in Police cells
or prison facilities.
//cue in: “sometimes in my…
ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on June 26, 1987.
has however continued to witness grave torture cases over the years mostly
involving security agencies targeting critics of the government.
The Parliament Committee on Human Rights in August 2019 opened an investigation
into allegations that Internal Security Organization (ISO) officials had
abducted and illegally detained more than 400 people in safe houses on an
island in Kalangala.