The Attorney General (AG) Kiryowa Kiwanuka has told the United Nations Committee Against Torture that the Ugandan Government does not operate any safe houses.
Kiwanuka, who led an 11-member team from Uganda defended the government on torture, saying the commitment to protect people against torture has remained “resolute”.
“Against the backdrop of our dark history, the current government is determined to end the glaring Human rights violations and indeed, immediately when it came into administration in 1986, Uganda was among the first countries to sign and ratify the International Convention against Torture, on 3rd November, 1986,” Kiwanuka submitted.
He added, “The commitments of the government of Uganda to ensure protection of her people against any form of torture has remained resolute against the growing challenges that we operate in as states today.
“To reaffirm our determination on the protection of our people against any form of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, punishment was provided for and protected as a non derogable right under articles 24 and 44 of the 1995 constitution of Uganda.”
Kiwanuka told the UN Committee members that government of Uganda has deployed modern surveillance teams among security agencies to monitor the actions of security personnel.
“This has made analysis procedures easier and also enabled close supervision of security personnel as they interview and interrogate suspects to ensure that no information is obtained under any form of coercion or ill-treatment,” he said.
When he was asked about allegation that the government runs safe houses and illegal detention centres, AG Kiwanuka said, “The government of Uganda does not run any safe houses or ungazetted detention areas. If that happens, that is a person acting on their own and it is not a position of the government of Uganda.”
Uganda is signatory to the International Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) which it ratified on 3rd November 1986.
While it is mandatory for all States Parties to periodically present progress reports on observance of the International human rights standards and obligations, every country reserves the sovereign right to do so within the context of each country’s historical, constitutional and economic realities.
Since 2020, when the nation was preparing for the general elections in 2021, there have been countless allegations of human rights violation and torture with many victims giving horrific confessions of how they were inhumanly treated while in detention.
Commenting about the AG’s submission, National Unity Platform (NUP) boss Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine wondered why the AG is lying to the committee.
“I’m surprised that anyone is surprised by the lies Kiryowa Kiwanuka has been telling with a straight face at the UN Committee Against Torture on M7’s behalf. Denying existence of torture chambers, abductions, rape, etc! You can’t serve M7 & not become a consummate liar yourself!” Bobi Wine said.
By Sengooba Alirabaki
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