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Human rights violations: Mwesigwa’s ordeal opens dark new chapter of torture by Uganda’s security forces


Human rights violations: Mwesigwa’s ordeal opens dark new chapter of torture by Uganda’s security forces

Mwesigwa Eric, a NUP supporter was burned with hot irobs by security forces.

Rather than celebrate the release on bail by the high court of two NUP MPs Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya, believers in the right to a life without torture have been forced to contend with a new dark chapter in Uganda’s seemingly unending book of human rights violations.

The story of Eric Mwesigwa, another supporter of the leading Opposition party the National Unity Platform (NUP) who was burned on the chest with hot irons, and other forms of torture by Uganda’s security forces, has confounded even the government’s best supporters.

The government has yet to come out to deny the claim by Mwesigwa that its agents committed the violations as claimed by Mwesigwa in the video below.

NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi, who shared the video and pictures of Mwesigwa’s ordeal, pinned security forces for committing the crimes and that Mwesigwa is one of hundreds of their supporters who have endured similar treatment.

NUP says that worse crimes including extrajudicial killing of its supporters have been committed by the government of President Yoweri Museveni.

Many other human rights activists and defenders of freedom from torture, have expressed outrage at the government for promoting the acts of torture against Ugandans for openly displaying support for alternative political views.

In viral video which has gone viral since it’s release two days agoi, Mwesigwa narrates how he was chained and burned by hot irons on his chest by members of security forces, as part of an investigation to force him to admit any ‘plans’ to take power by Kyagulanyi and his supporters.

Using torture by anyone, more so security forces that are meant to safeguard and protect the rights of ordinary people, is a criminal offence under Ugandan law as well as international conventions to which Uganda is a signatory.

Mwesigwa’s ordeal has attracted enormous criticism from across Uganda including opposition politicians, lawyers, and ordinary Ugandans.

From the government side, only the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Norbert Mao, has come closest to criticizing security forces for abusing Mwesigwa.

Mao said through Twitter that:

The conspicuous silence on this case from key offices expected of promoting human rights such as the Speaker and Deputy speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, religious leaders, could be interpreted as a relegation of duty on their part to defend human rights and safeguard the sanctity of life.

Mwesigwa’s ordeal came on the same day the government decided to release two NUP MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana on remand after close to 15 months without a proper trial against allegations of terrorism.

The silence also from the President’s office, put to mockery his recent call for security forces to stop torturing civilians. While presiding over cerebrations to mark Armed forces day (Tarehe Sita) in Mbarara, President Museveni asked security forces to stop torturing people.



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