Reports from Luzira maximum prison indicate that another Rwenzururu palace royal guard identified as Baluku has died under mysterious circumstances. The deceased joins the queue of royal guards who have died under incarceration in the prison facility 6 years since they were arrested during a November 2016 military operation at the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu palace in Kasese district, South Western Uganda.
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The Uganda Prisons Service spokesperson Frank Baine confirmed the development but urged political actors and relatives to wait for a police postmortem report.
“Yes, he has died in prison but that does not justify torture as acclaimed by some politicians. Let us wait for a police postmortem report which will declare the cause of death,” Baine reacted.
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The trial of the Rwenzururu royal guards was halted after activists and human rights defenders decried the inhumane condition in which they were paraded in the courtroom. Majority would be arraigned with festering wounds, a sign that they were tortured during or after arrest.
MPs demand accountability!
A section of legislators from the Rwenzururu have called for action on the Uganda Prisons Service authorities, whom they have accused with negligence. The MPs stress that since the royal guards were arrested, majority have died under unclear conditions. They say prisons service has not accorded the suspects decent medical treatment, a thing that has catalyzed their death in prison.
Bukonzo West MP Godfrey Atkins Katusabe has called on the international community to slap sanctions on the implicated government officials.
“We call on the US and UN human rights bodies to impose sanctions of the Commissioner general of prisons Johnson Byabashaija, the DPP Jane Frances Abodo, the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, and Mr. Frank Baine. These have turned out to be habitual violators of human rights,” he said.
The MPs also demanded a speedy trial for the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere who has braved house arrest in Kampala for the past 6 years and has since been banished from accessing his kingdom.