Ugandan leader slams torture after claims of police excesses

2017-05-16 22:01
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (AFP: File)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (AFP: File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kampala  - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday said the use of torture was "wrong" but faced criticism from a top rights monitor for not demanding an enquiry on alleged police excesses.

"The use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media," Museveni wrote in a letter to police and intelligence chiefs.

He expressed concern that security operatives "may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent," adding: "This is very unfair."

"Somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured," said the longserving leader.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has repeatedly cited use of torture of detainees in Uganda.

In a 2009 report entitled "Open Secret", HRW said torture and illegal detention were common in Uganda.

In response to Museveni's letter, HRW Africa director Maria Burnett tweeted regret that the president "didn't actually call for investigation, accountability for torture...and he should have."

Museveni's letter came after a number of accusations, including by a town mayor, of torture at Nalufenya prison outside the capital Kampala.

Photographs of Geoffrey Byamukama, mayor of the southwestern town of Kamwenge, in hospital with extensive injuries to his legs and back horrified many Ugandans when they emerged on social media last week.

Byamukama said the injuries were inflicted during questioning by police about the March assassination of Felix Kaweesi, a police spokesperson.

Thirteen men also accused of involvement in the murder also showed evidence of injuries when they appeared in court on May 5.

One accused, Ahmad Senfuka Shaban, told relatives he had been beaten with cables, had boiling water and acid poured on his body and electricity shocks administered on his genitals.

Police spokesperson Asan Kasingye said media claims the men had been tortured were "not true" and that the Uganda Human Rights Commission - a government body - was satisfied with torture safeguards.

Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  uganda  |  east  |  africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.