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Rights Activists Want Optional Protocol Convention Against Torture Ratified

By Damba Rogers

Rights activists are tasking govt to ratify the optional protocol against torture that offers them free entrance to any detention facility in the country to ascertain the condition of inmates.

According to the head of programms, African center for torture victims (ACTV) Esther Nabwire, the absence of this instrument renders policies against torture powerless hence giving room to perpetrators to continue violating the rights of innocent Ugandans.

Reading the 2017 torture report findings released today in Kampala, Esther reveals that 632(79%) males as compared to 202(21%) females faced torture with youth between 18 to 35 years also mentioned as being the biggest victims of torture and Central region, Masaka and Gulu districts being the areas with the highest number of cases for torture.

The report also highlights the murder of the AIGP, Andrew Felix Kawesi which sparked off arbitrary detention of suspects, allegations of torture and enforced disappearances, In addition, the torture meted out to the mayor of Kamwenge left the public in shock at the blatant lack of respect for the rule of law in Uganda.

Matter are made worse with the unpaid claims by government for human rights violations which stood at UGX.2 billion as at June -31 -2016 and the claims raised by the Uganda human rights commission.

With the number of Ugandans facing torture standing at 82.5%, Congolese (15.9%) Burundians (0.72%) followed by Eritreans, Rwandese, S.Sudanese among others.

A number of reasons have been raised to be fueling the acts of torture and among them are, suspected criminals, mistaken identity, land related issues, Tribal conflicts, Work conflicts, sexual minority, domestic violence, Journalists, political affiliation, illegal punishment and many more.

The report further indicates that Uganda police force among other security forces still rank high in torturing citizens, local council chairpersons, and public among others being named in the report.

But the spokesperson of the prisons service, Frank Baine doing wrong but calls for correction from members of the public if such acts are to be prevented.

The report further recommends that the prevention and prohibition of torture act 2012 among other anti torture laws and policies be fully implemented if such inhuman acts are to be scaled down.

END

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