Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum on Friday 26th June 2020, with permission and instructions from their clients #COSF20, filed a formal complaint with the Commissioner General of the Uganda Prisons Service. The complaint challenges the CG to carry out a full and satisfactory investigation into the actions of a Principal Officer who personally participated in and/or oversaw the beating, abuse and even burning of some of the COSF-20. The said actions were based on assumptions of the victim’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to a communique from HRAPF’S Executive Director on the matter, #COSF20’s legal representation is now imploring the CG to investigate the general condition of inmates at the newly opened Kitalya Mini-Maxi Prison with a view to effecting change in a system that seems to have already normalised human rights abuse within the prison.
“In the complaint, we contend that the actions of the prison official violate Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and also constitute criminal acts contrary to sections 2(1), (2), (3) and (4), 3, 4, 6, and 7 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012 which prohibit and criminalise torture and inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. The actions also violate article 2 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) which requires states to ‘take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction’ as well as section 57(a) of the Prisons Act 2006, which requires that ‘a prisoner shall be treated with the respect due to his/her inherent dignity and value as a human being,” read part of the communique.
HRAPF’s ED Adrian Jjuuko revealed that the organization has also informed the Commissioner General that they have acquired sworn testimonies to the acts of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and are willing to share them, and that also the victims are willing to testify if needed. They now await a response from the Commissioner General of Police, which will inform the next course of action.