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Drama as MPs disagree on Nalufeenya

Police spokesman Kasingye briefs MPs at Nalufenya

Uganda’s Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights has produced two conflicting reports on the alleged torture of suspects at Nalufenya Police Detention facility in Jinja, sparking debate on the matter.

In the report that was intended to examine the status of Nalufenya and the alleged cases of torture, the Committee Chairperson  Jovah Kamateeka  said Nalufenya appeared reasonably clean.

“Nalufenya is a gazetted police station that has been in existence since independence and on the face of it, the committee found no evidence of inhumane conditions,” said Kamateeka .

However, in a conflicting minority report, Kilak North MP Anthony Akol has revealed that the committee was treated to a set up of a well-organized police facility.

In his report, Akol  said the committee checked the medical record books which show that many suspects were being treated with conditions like soft tissue injuries, open wounds, blood flowing from the ears, and many conditions associated with long detention.

“Speaker, even on that morning when the committee visited, they were suspects treated with conditions of wounds and soft tissues injuries but they were never among the suspects presented to the committee, The did not appear in the lock up books presented to the committee,” said Akol.

Akol said that Nalufenya is a restricted area, stating that, the committee members were harassed at the gate for about 40 minutes to the extent that no phones or any electronic devices were allowed.

“It was therefore clear that the explanation by AIGP and the spokesman of the police that some of the people treated at the clinic come from around Jinja municipality or families of the police officers for treatment of wounds, soft tissues injuries, and conditions was baseless,” said Akol.

Officers to be charged, says Kania

The minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania said the police force is professional and the officers implicated will be charged in court soon.

He says that all the suspects including Kamwenge LC III chairman Geoffrey Byamukama arrested in relation to terrorism and the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi , his driver and guard  were based on credible and reliable evidence.

“The position of the government is that evidence through torture is not necessarily reliable. I also wish to categorically state that police as institution does not condone torture and there are established institutional mechanisms within the police to ensure against torture,”said Obiga Kania.

The Committee on Human Rights was in Jinja, following a directive by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, to visit Nalufenya Police Station, embroiled in allegations of torture of suspects, and assess the condition of suspects detained there.

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