Uganda Law Society demands court order issuance for medical treatment of Katumba assassination suspects
Written by Derrick Asaba on July 12, 2021
With outrage and condemnation of torturous acts by police against Katumba assassination suspects, the Uganda Law Society (ULS) has called for issuance of a court order for further treatment of these suspects.
This follows the arraignment of Sserubula Hussein Ismail, Nyanzi Yusuf Siraji, Kagugube Muhammad, Walusimbi Kamada, Kisambira Siriman Ayuub, Abdulaziz Ramathan Dunku, Habib Ramathan Marjan, the suspects in the assassination attempt against General Katumba Wamala before the Nakawa Chief Magistrates court on Thursday.
These are reported to have appeared before the Court with visible injuries and burns on their bodies, a thing which the ULS, a body mandated to promote rule of law and good governance in the country seeks justice on.
Considering Article 24 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda and Section 3(1) of the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture Act, 2012 state that, “No person shall be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
With cruelty, inhumanity and degradation being unconstitutional and compromising proper prosecution of cases, the President of Uganda Law Society, Pheona Nabasa said that such, call for re-skilling of the Police and all security agencies to divert them from such archaic methods of police investigations.
According to Nabasa, it is also reported that the accused persons through their advocate requested the court to issue an order to have them taken for proper treatment, which order was denied and they were instead remanded to Kitalya prison.
“A Magistrate Court has the power to enforce rights and freedoms as well as the power to hear and determine applications relating to the enforcement or violation of rights and freedoms guaranteed in Chapter Four of the 1995 Constitution and Section 5(1) of the Human Rights (Enforcement) Act 2019. We believe that this is a remedy the court could have provided at this point,” Nabasa said in a July 10 Press Release.
Nabasa added that, “Section 7(2) of the Human Rights (Enforcement) Act 2019 provides that where a human rights matter arises in any proceedings before the Magistrate Court, the Magistrate Court shall immediately stay the proceedings in the main matter and first determine the human rights issue raised.
Further remanding these suspects and letting the matter continue in total disregard of the evidential torture, we believe is a further miscarriage of justice.
Furthermore, Article 28(3) (a) of the 1995 Constitution provides that every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty or until the person has pleaded guilty. This is the foundation of our criminal justice and all suspects must be looked at from the angle of innocence until the cases are proved against them.”
Other demands made by the ULS are; The perpetrators of the acts of torture particularly by the security officers should be brought to book.
Plus, all stakeholders especially the security forces should ensure that safeguards against cruelty and torture in the first hours of detention are implemented.