Torture is one of the most horrific crimes that can be perpetrated against human rights defenders. It aims to degrade through calculated acts of cruelty to remove the victims’ dignity and make them powerless.
As Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, we condemn all acts of torture meted against human rights defenders including journalists and activists.
The prohibition against torture and ill-treatment is set out in the 1995 Uganda Constitution and in major international and regional instruments ratified by Uganda. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 5 states that; “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 7 states that; “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”
The above has been domesticated under Article 24 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. It states: “No person shall be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Article 44(a) is to the effect that the right to protection against torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment is non-derogable.
In view of the above, we call upon the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) to conduct an expeditious, comprehensive, and effective investigation into the alleged cases of torture and other human rights violations against Human Rights Defenders in Uganda.