Police Inspector General, Ochola Commits To Ending Human Rights Abuse By His Officers.
Written by Derrick Asaba on August 17, 2021
The Uganda Police Force (UPF) has stated with sheer commitment to put an end to torturous acts with very strict prohibitions.
This was said by the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola yesterday in a release that detailed initiatives taken to counter torture in the UPF.
Ochola said that even though his leadership has for long been vigorous in fighting against torture, they cannot in any way claim a perfect record in this regard.
“As a result of continued concerns of torture, I pledge to continue reviewing our efforts to ensure appropriate guidelines on the use of force and authority are respected,” Ochola said.
He added that he will further ensure that all perpetrators of torture and other forms of physical, mental and psychological abuse by police officers are punished.
This resolution by Police follows the recent address of the President, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni where he strongly condemned the continued use of torture by security agencies including the police, during its enforcement operations.
Museveni, among others, showed concern on the use of excessive force, brutality, detention for long hours without trial and induced confession.
He strongly condemned torture which he said is unnecessary and wrong and advised investigators to instead use fingerprints, witnesses, dogs, photographs and scientific methods to avail facts.
With reference to this, Ochola noted that torture is categorically denounced as a matter of policy in the police and committed to the full and effective implementation of their (police) obligation under the Anti-torture and Human Rights Enforcement laws of Uganda.
“I want to thank the government for enacting the important legislation on the prohibition of torture, which institutes criminal and civil action for practices of misconduct by those responsible for torture and other forms of cruel and inhumane treatment of suspects,” Ochola remarked.
Ochola thus tasked the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services, that is actively enforcing the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012, and the Human Rights Enforcement Act, that permits criminal prosecution of police officers who wilfully deprive individuals and groups of their rights and freedoms, to come up with a list of all police officers prosecuted.
He retaliated that, “Through the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services, we have rolled out the Anti-torture laws, where emphasis has been on integrity.”
The UPF is reviewing their policies and practices to ensure compliance with the Anti-torture laws and her frontline units have pursued all allegations of torture.