Crime & Investigation

Otafiire: We Can't Save Ugandan Convicts in China


prostate geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj. Gen. (rtd), Kahinda Otafiire said that the Transfer of Convicted Offenders Act, which provides for the transfer of prisoners between Commonwealth countries, but could be extended to such other countries, outside this grouping, but having similar legislation.

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“We found that Hong Kong has such legislation in place and therefore transfer is possible for those who apply. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was so advised,” he said, adding “It should be noted however, that for China mainland, there is no such legislation.”

Members were however unhappy that government seems to have given up on trying to secure the return of other Ugandans to serve their sentences in Uganda.

Several Ugandans were recently executed in China over drug trafficking.

Government was blamed for not doing enough to rescue the convicts.

Hon. Jack Wamanga Wamai (FDC, Mbale Municipality), a former diplomat, said during his tour in China, although Ugandans were convicted, no one was ever executed.

Dr. Lulume Bayigga (DP, Buikwe South), wondered whether the Ugandans arrested in China got proper legal representation in a language they understand.

Hon. Bernard Atiku (Ayivu) said the absence of a law on transfer of convicted offenders between Uganda and China, opened up an opportunity for government to open up diplomatic negotiations.

Members said bodies of executed convicts should be returned and not cremated, an unAfrican practice, and to rule out allegations that their internal body organs were sold.

Minister Otafiire said China being a sovereign country, which regularly executes its own citizens convicted of similar crimes, charges foreigners according to their domestic laws.

“The first immunization against execution is not carrying drugs; and observe Chinese laws,” he said.

“We are negotiating with China on reciprocity of prisoners. We can plead for clemency; but it depends on the will of government there.”


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