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Opiyo to MPs: Extend Torture Investigation to Police Headquarters

Kaweesi murder suspects spoke in unison about their alleged torture in detention at Nalufenya recently
Kaweesi murder suspects spoke in unison about their alleged torture in detention at Nalufenya recently

    By: Kim Aine

  • May 19,2017
  • 317 Viewed

City advocate Nicholas Opiyo has challenged MPs to dig deeper while investigating acts of torture at the dreaded Nalufenya Police detention facility, Chimp Corps report.

“The question the MPs must ask if they want to get to the bottom of these things is who is ordering, financing or condoning these heinous acts?” said Opiyo, an award-winning human rights lawyer.

“If the MPs are so concerned, as we all are, by the gruesome pictures of the town mayor and want to know where he was tortured from, they may be glad to know that it was not at Nalufenya but a van at the police headquarters on April 5, 2017 at about 1600hrs. Will they visit the van?” he wondered.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga earlier this week directed the House Committee on Human Rights to visit and inspect the Nalufenya detention facility, from where allegations of torture have been reported.

“Following yesterday’s session, I direct the Committee on Human Rights to proceed to Nalufenya to examine the facility and give us a Report,” said Kadaga in her communication from the chair at the start of the plenary sitting of Parliament on May 17.

Kamwenge Town Council Mayor, Geoffrey Byamukama, and other suspects in the murder of former Police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi have been detained in Nalufenya detention facility in Jinja.

The suspects have allegedly been tortured there.

Former ADF rebel leader Jamil Mukulu and other high level suspects have also been detained in the facility.

On Tuesday, enraged legislators demanded that persons implicated in the torture of suspects and abduction of their children be charged in court.

Crimes against humanity

The Speaker described the alleged torture as ‘crimes against humanity’ and demanded that perpetrators of the acts be charged in court.

MPs are set to visit the Nalufenya police station today to assess if acts of torture are committed there.

This was after Uganda Human Rights Commission visited the facility a few days ago.

Opiyo cautioned that the visits are pre-arranged as those who run the facility are expecting them.

“They will tour the facility and give it a clean bill of health. On account of their observation, they may be right – making an honest and dumb mistake,” warned Opiyo.

He said the lawmakers must do more to avoid a “wild goose chase.”

Opiyo noted: “They know not what they are doing. They are misled and are chasing the wrong clue. Their modus operandi is flawed – seeing buildings is akin to tourists visiting a village, taking nice pictures and claiming to know the village.”

The lawyer said torture is not resident in a police building, and certainly not Nalufenya “but in the system of policing; in the minds of its leaders and how they see their role.”

Photos of tortured suspects have since enraged the nation, leaving police with an egg on its face.

“I want to demand on behalf of the citizens that we need to see justice done. Torture is not an issue of the Police Disciplinary Committee,” said Kadaga on Tuesday.

“It is a matter of crime against humanity, it is a breach of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act and the perpetrators must be arrested, charged in open court.”

During the sitting, MPs claimed that suspects were tortured and sometimes died in Nalufenya.

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