The government is to lose Shs 50 million to be paid to relatives and those whose rights were violated in torture cases.
The various cases of torture, some of which, led to deaths of the tortured persons were registered at Uganda Human Rights Commission offices in Arua. While carrying out the final decisions on the torture cases on Tuesday, the UHRC Commissioner, Mr Meddie Mulumba, said many of the cases involved policemen who tortured civilians in the police cells.
“We expect the policemen to behave in a manner of protecting lives and property of citizens because they are in full knowledge of the law. Costs can be awarded as compensation but the mark left to the families of those who died out of their actions is painful,” he said.
Ms Serepta Ubai, who sued the policemen for torturing her grandson to death listens to the judgment.
Mulumba said there was need for the police to act responsibly and desist from impunity. The cases arose after complaints especially from Nebbi, Arua and Maracha districts where those who died were arrested by police on allegations of possession of guns, illegal detention and torture to obtain information on alleged robbery.
One of those compensated for the grandson who died at Nebbi police cells in 2008, Ms Serepta Ubai, said: “There is nothing much that I can do since he has now died. But I will take the Shs 15 million like this as compensation because we cannot bring back his life.”
Policeman in Arua escorts suspects tied on a rope to the central police station. Photos by Felix
The Commissioner, also awarded Shs 30 million to the family of late Fred Odama, who was tortured by police and he died at the police cells in Arua district. The deceased father, Mr Luiji Odama, said: “Shs 30 million is little because it is not worth the life lost. But we call upon the police to stop acting with impunity because my son wouldn’t have died if they did not act unprofessionally.”
The case while at High Court in Arua, it was found that the late was not in possession of guns as alleged. The deceased father then sought for redress at the Human Rights Commission where, he said some justice has been done to him.
Arua Municipality also lost Shs 5 million as an award to a resident who was arrested and locked at the division toilet for three days. The policemen and the division enforcement officers arrested and detained Mr Oscar Onet at the time they were construction a road. Mr Onet tried to block them on grounds that they were encroaching on his land. He was then arrested and tortured.