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UHRC: Security Operatives Using Vans, Private Residences for Torture

Aliyo Natukunda, the Director Legal services at Uganda Prisons, says they are working hard to eliminate torture from the Prison facilities.

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Security operatives have now turned to vans and private residencies to torture suspects, the Uganda Human Rights Commission-UHRC has revealed. According to the Commission, the operative use moving vehicles, private houses and incomplete buildings to torture suspects.

Ruth Sekindi, the Director Monitoring and Inspection at UHRC, says the operatives have since moved away from safe houses that many human rights defenders have been castigated. 

She says this has come out from several suspects and victims who confess to human rights defenders that they are tortured enroute. According to Sekindi, this means that human rights defenders have a much bigger task as the investigations get difficult. 

She says there is need for more sensitisation, saying some officers want the easy way out of situations.

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Christine Nanding, the Deputy Director Legal Services Uganda Police, says they have made positive steps towards eliminating torture from the Police force.

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Police came under the spotlight last year for torturing suspects picked up in connection to the assassination of the former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi during their detention at Nalufenya police facility in Jinja.

A human rights report released this month puts police at the forefront of human rights violation, specifically torture. Margaret Sekaggya, the Executive Director Human Rights Centre Uganda, says there is need to sensitise all security personnel to reduce cases of torture. 

She calls on human rights defenders to work together to resolve torture in Uganda.

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Herbert Nsubuga of the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims- ACTV, says at least 1200 cases of torture are registered annually requiring Shillings 7bn to compensate the victims. 

He explains that UHRC utilises their medical report to guide the award of the compensation.  

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Aliyo Natukunda, the Director Legal services at Uganda Prisons, says they are working hard to eliminate torture from the Prison facilities.

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The officials were speaking at a press conference on increasing awareness on torture held at the Human Rights Centre Uganda ahead of the International day in support of victims of torture scheduled for Tuesday 26th June, 2018.