Arua. Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has told the police to respect in detaining suspects for 48 hours.
This comes after a report by the Commission which stated that suspects are still being detained for more than 48 hours, which they said contravenes the rights of the suspects and the law. During a regional meeting by UHRC in Arua at Desert Breeze, the Regional Human Rights Officer, Ms Juliet Logose, said most of the claims by the policemen are that suspects could not be released due to incomplete investigations.
Juliet Logose discussing with the Arua High Court Judge Steven Mubiru. Photos by Felix
“We ask you (police) to observe the 48 hour rule and avoid detaining suspects for more hours. We found that some suspects are detained for long hours on petty offenses like stealing of chicken. We should treat the suspects within their rights. Even if the hours are increased, it would not solve and this would lead to compromise in investigations,” she said.
The commission in their findings of also noted that there have been numerous cases of long stay in remand of inmates in various prisons across the region. But it noted that there have been reduced cases of torture by the police, army and prison warders.
The Deputy Regional Police Commander, North Western, Grace Mutono, said: “The 48 hour rule should be revised to at least 96 hours because policemen tend to rush to get half-baked evidence on suspects. Sometimes police delays to release suspects on bond because of failure to pay for medical examinations in cases of defilement.
The police escorts a suspect from Centenary bank to Arua central police station.
The High Court Judge for Arua, Justice Steven Mubiru, said there was need to ensure speedy trials of inmates in order to decongest the prisons. “There has been improvement in dispensation of justice because there were cases where some inmates have been on remand for more than five years. But we shall work hard to make sure that this reduces to at least two years,” he said.
The Human Rights Report was conducted from last year. And in the previous reports nationally, the police have been faulted for detaining suspects for more hours, which has led to compromise in investigations.
Police advances reasons that some of the suspects on capital offenses could not be released on bond or sent to court with incomplete investigations.