KAMPALA – The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, a quasi-judicial body tasked with promoting and protecting human rights throughout the African continent, has demanded prosecution of members of security forces who were involved in the killing of Ugandans during the protests that broke out following the arrest of Bobi Wine on November 18.
A total of 54 people were shot dead in the protests that broke out following the arrest of Bobi Wine on his presidential campaign trail in Luuka District on November 18.
In a statement, the chairperson of the Working Group on the Death Penalty, Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions in Africa, Mr Ndiamé Gaye and the Special Rapporteur on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa, Maria Teresa Manuela, said use of live ammunition, teargas and water cannons in suppressing and dispersing demonstrators was uncalled for and an abuse of basic human freedoms.
“The Rapporteurs strongly condemn the excessive, abusive and disproportionate use of force against peaceful demonstrators and all other human rights violations that occurred and were widely reported in the domestic and international press,” the November 23 statement reads in part.
“The Rapporteurs call on the Ugandan authorities to take all necessary measures to put an end to the use of deadly weapons and to conduct impartial and independent investigations with a view to prosecuting and bringing the alleged perpetrators to justice. They note the release on bail of Mr Kyagulanyi and call on the government of Uganda to unconditionally release the other detained demonstrators, end arbitrary arrests and detentions and guarantee the right to a fair trial to the detained demonstratorsin the event of criminal offences,” it adds.
The Rapporteurs further urge the Ugandan authorities to comply fully with regional and international standards on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement agencies.
The Rapporteurs remind the Government of Uganda of its obligations to guarantee the fundamental rights of its citizens, including the rights to life and physical integrity, liberty, access to justice and a fair trial, as well as the freedoms of expression, association and assembly as outlined in the provisions of articles 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant regional and international human rights instruments.
The Rapporteurs remain seized of the human rights situation in the Republic of Uganda.