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Police in the spotlight over torturing People Power female supporter

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi’s supporter was allegedly tortured by police. (PHOTO/FILE)

KAMPALA – Police is again in the spotlight for allegedly brutalizing a supporter of People Power, a pressure group associated with Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

Ms. Nalongo Nana Mbarikiwa, who is admitted to Kampala Independent Hospital, was allegedly manhandled by a group of female and male police officers at the main entrance to the Uganda Police Force Headquarters in Naguru, Kampala. She had gone to notify the Police leadership of her peaceful protest against Bobi Wine’s house arrest as well as other violations of Ugandan citizens’ human rights by security agencies.

According to Nana, who is 7 months pregnant, said she is bleeding from the womb and can neither sit nor stand on her own.

She was on Thursday visited by several Opposition leaders, including Dr Kizza Besigye.

“I arrived at the Police headquarters in the morning and found a very heavy deployment of police officers. When I tried to gain access, I was blocked at the entrance and informed that I had to first get clearance before I could meet the Inspector General of Police and/or the Dep. Inspector General. I parked my vehicle – a Toyota Noah – and waited for the said clearance,”  she narrated to journalists.

“While I was still seated inside my vehicle whose sunroof I had opened to avoid suffocation, a group of police officers jumped atop the vehicle and sprayed inside with pepper spray and teargas. They then forced themselves into the car. During the process, two policewomen held my legs apart and each sat on one as they twisted them. A policewoman, whose face I vividly remember, pulled my shorts down and forced her hand between my legs. I yelled in pain and told her that she was killing my baby but she squeezed even harder into my pelvis, yelling at me to “deliver the baby from here!” In the meantime, two or so other women twisted my arm, while another grabbed my heavy belly and squeezed it hard as if to force the foetus out. Thereafter, they violently pulled me out of the car, dragged me through the gate into the Police premises, and violently dropped me onto the ground. I fell on my back, vomited and then passed out. When I eventually came to, I found myself on a hospital bed surrounded by heavily armed police officers,” she added.

Ms. Nana said she was dumped at Naguru hospital from where Dr. Besigye and other People Power supporters later found her and transferred her to Kampala Independent Hospital.

Dr. Besigye condemned the police action. “For Policewomen to brutalise an expectant mum this way is a horrifying indicator of the state of our Police force,” he said.

Mr. Saasi Marvin, the People Power Digital spokesperson, said: “We strongly condemn the blatant brutality meted out on Nana by members of the Uganda Police Force, and call upon relevant authorities to immediately conduct investigations into this matter with a view to holding the rogue police officers personally liable for their transgressions, besides taking other remedial action.”

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