Endless investigations and torture of democracy advocates in Uganda

The United Democratic Ugandans (UDU), an umbrella organization of political parties and organizations at home and abroad opposed to the NRM government, expresses its deep concern about endless investigations and torture of democracy advocates in Uganda. There are Ugandans that have been languishing in detention or on bail under extremely difficult conditions because the government is still conducting investigations. There ought to be sufficient information before a person is arrested and if additional information is needed it should be gathered within a reasonable time. And if there is insufficient evidence the person should be set free. In Uganda it appears that a person is arrested first and lengthy investigations follow. This approach creates a lot of social, financial and psychological hardship and torture on individual members concerned and their families, relatives, friends, well wishers and places of work.

Uganda has entered an enlightenment phase in which an increasing number of citizens are demanding full expression of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The government needs to adjust to this new environment of protest and refrain from arresting people demanding correction of democracy and good governance deficits. If Ugandans are arrested in the name of maintaining law and order or national security then they should appear in court as soon as possible.

We appeal to all Ugandans at home and abroad, United Nations, African organizations, development partners and human rights organizations to individually or collectively put pressure on the government of Uganda to conduct investigations quickly and take appropriate actions so that a final and speedy decision is taken.

Eric Kashambuzi

Secretary-General & Chief Administrator, UDU