The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Human Rights Committee of parliament to visit Nalufenya Police facility in Jinja following widespread complaints of torture of suspects there.
She made the directive in her communication to parliament on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Kadaga, torturing suspects contravenes article 24 of the Constitution which outlaws all forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as a form of punishment and the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act.
The speaker’s directive follows a heated debated on Tuesday, where legislators criticised police for torturing several suspects picked up in connection to the murder of former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his body guard, Kenneth Erau and Driver, Godfrey Mambewo in March this year.
The torture of the suspects came to light when some of them appeared in court with fresh wounds and scars they claimed to have been inflicted on them by police personnel in Nalufenya police facility.
One of the suspects is Godfrey Byamukama, the Kamwenge town council LC 3 chairperson. Several photos went viral on social media showing Byamukama lying on his sick bed in Nakasero hospital with severe wounds on the knees and uncles.
On Tuesday, some of the legislators including Muwanga Kivumbi, Francis Mwijukye and Abbas Agaba spoke strongly against the torture of suspects, saying it violates their rights. Some of the legislators called for the immediate closure of Nalufenya Police facility calling it a torture chamber.
Speaking to Step FM on the speaker’s directive, Jovah Kamateeka, the Human Rights Committee Chairperson, said they are deeply concerned about the torture allegations. “Our duty as a committee is to highlight these abuses by both government departments and individuals and work with them to ensure that they do not happen again.” said MP Kamateeka.
Kamateeka who appealed to the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura to reign on his officers who torture suspects, said that her committee is up to the challenge and optimistic that police will be forthcoming with information.
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On Tuesday, President Yoweri Museveni wrote to the Inspector General of Police discouraging him from using torture to extract confessions from suspects, saying some of the suspects could be innocent.
“..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. Of course, the criminals are most annoying by using the cowardly but shallow methods of the boda bodas, taking advantage of the large number of vehicles and people in order to commit crime and hide. That, however, should not make us panic and go back to the defective traditional methods of okutatsya,” wrote Museveni.