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MPs Irked by Undocumented Human Rights Violations in Masaka

Witnesses included victims of arrests and torture, those who sustained wounds from gunshots and relatives of missing persons. However, the committee noted that the majority of the incidents, some of which resulted in death, were never documented or even investigated by the Human Rights Commission office in the area.
Some of the witnesses appearing befor the Parliament committee on Human Rights

Audio 3

Farouk Nyede, the Principal Human Rights Officer in charge of greater Masaka sub-region is on the sport for failing to document and violations that occurred in the area during the recent general election.

Nyende was on Thursday appearing before the Human Rights Committee of Parliament which is investigating reports of human rights violations in the area. The committee, chaired by Bugiri Woman MP Agnes Taaka Wejuli listened to testimonies from persons who suffered various forms of violations during and after the campaigns.

Witnesses included victims of arrests and torture, those who sustained wounds from gunshots and relatives of missing persons.  However, the committee noted that the majority of the incidents, some of which resulted in death, were never documented or even investigated by the Human Rights Commission office in the area.

The witnesses told the committee that the Human Rights Commission Officers in Masaka have never taken interest in the recurrent violations even when the victims made them public. 

Joseph Kasirye, the National Unity Platform-NUP registrar for Masaka City presented before the committee a list of 25 people he says are still missing after their arrest by security agencies. He told the committee that shortly after the declaration of presidential election results, the army took over security in many parts of the region and engaged in acts of gross human rights violation against people suspected not to support the ruling government.  

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Michael Mulindwa, the Chairperson of the Nyendo-Mukungwe division of Masaka city also told the committee that many of the victims of torture and other forms of human rights violations are suffering from within their homes without any assistance and pursuit for justice. He also cited an incident of a six-month pregnant woman who died at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital where she was rushed after allegedly being beaten by security operatives in Nyendo.

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But Nyende noted that many of the said victims had not formally complained to the Human Rights Commission to commence investigations. According to Nyende, their operations largely rely on the proactiveness of the community members registering complaints with the commission to follow-up on them.

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However, the Committee Chairperson tasked him to compile a comprehensive report about all violations in his area of jurisdiction and submit a detailed report within three weeks.