UN demands investigation of torture claims in Uganda

The United Nations Committee Against Torture is demanding that an independent body be set up to investigate torture claims in Uganda. he UN also asked Government to investigate and prosecute officials involved in the arbitrary and unauthorised detention of Ugandans and ensure that victims have access to remedies.

The development follows publication of the committee findings on Uganda, Australia, Chad, El Salvador, Malawi, Nicaragua and Somalia last Friday, after reviewing the state parties in the latest sessions.

The findings contained the committee’s main concerns and recommendations on each country’s implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment.

In its findings about Uganda, the committee said it was concerned by reports of torture and ill-treatment in the country. The findings indicated that there was excessive use of force within the context of enforcing COVID-19 measures.

The committee also expressed concern at the reported non-implementation of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Regulations of 2017 by respective agencies, including the Ugandan Police Force.

It further noted that access to justice by victims was limited because prosecutors and judges lacked sufficient evidence to committee urged Uganda to, inter alia, ensure that all complaints of torture were promptly investigated by an independent body.

The committee also reiterated the recommendation contained in its previous and concluding observations that unauthorised places of detention or “safe houses”, and immediately provide information about all places of detention.

The report also indicated that they “remained concerned about reports indicating that safe houses or ungazetted places of detention have been set up in Uganda.”


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