SEPTEMBER 28, 2009: Police Named Most Brutal Institution

Police Named Most Brutal Institution

SOURCE: Monitor

By Al- Mahdi Ssenkabirwa and Isaac Khisa

Kampala — Uganda Police Force have been listed as the most oppressors and torturers of journalists in the recent riots in Kampala, the Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ-Uganda) has revealed.

According to a survey done by HRNJ last week, more than 20 journalists especially photojournalists were unlawfully arrested, tortured and attacked by police and rioters during the three-day riots in Kampala and several parts of Buganda region.

HRNJ findings indicate that Police committed 80 per cent of the offences registered during the riots.

 "All cases recorded were acts of unlawful arrest and detention, torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment which undermined articles; 24 and 29(1)of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda and other regional and international treaties to which Uganda is a party," Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala, HRNJ-Uganda Programme Coordinator said.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy public relations officer, Mr Henry Kalulu on Saturday said: "I have not received a copy of the survey and therefore I cannot comment."

The riots which were sparked off by the government's refusal to allow the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to visit Kayunga District left at least 24 people dead and hundreds injured.

This is the biggest number of journalists to have been subjected to unlawful arrest and detention, torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment just in an incident, according HRNJ - statistics.

"We are increasingly concerned about the on-going threatening atmosphere and condemn such acts which undermine the right to freedom of expression and the media as well as free flow of information which are very vital in any democratic system," the report states.

The number of the victims is likely to go higher as some victims continue to withhold information, according to Mr Ssebaggala...

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