The Chief Magistrates Court of Wakiso last week issued criminal summons to the Chairman Local Council III of Kyengera Town Council, Hajj Abdul Kiyimba and Prisons Officer Philimon Woniala to answer charges of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment meted out against the COSF-20. This is in criminal Case No. 505 of 2020.
This was done under section 12(1)(c) and 12(3 of the Prevention and Control of Torture Act, 2012 which allows private individuals to institute criminal cases against officials accused of torture. We first reported the case to the Police but they were reluctant to take it on forcing us to institute private proceedings.
According to Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) who are the legal representatives of the #COSF20, issuance of criminal summons indicates that the magistrate is satisfied that the applicants have a prima facie case against the accused persons and that the accusations are not frivolous or vexatious.
The Attorney General also responded to HRAPF’s official complaint to the Commissioner General of Prisons about the actions of PO Woniala, stating that the government takes allegations of torture seriously and that investigations are ongoing. We await more in this regard.
The civil case against the Kiyimba, Woniala and the state will be heard on 23rd September 2020.