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Clan Members Torture 65-Year-Old Widow over Alleged Witchcraft

Aparo says she was caned several times resulting into injuries on her bums, back, legs and hands adding that she was later dumped her at Omiya Anyima Police post minus any medical treatment.
Regina Aparo, a torture victim from Omiya Anyima Subcounty in Kitgum District.

Audio 2

A 65-year-old widow in Kitgum district is nursing severe body injuries after she was tortured by her clan members for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

Regina Aparo, a herbalist and resident of Wang Lango village in Akobi parish in Omiya Anyima Sub County was reportedly caned by youth a week ago on orders of the Kopir clan Chairperson, Calvin Okoya.

Aparo says that Okoya mobilized locals in the village against her after an anonymous individual reported to him that she prepares concoctions of poisonous herbs. 

She notes that without being given a fair hearing, the clan elder ordered the youth to tie her hands and legs before caning her in front of locals on allegations that she could be behind some mysterious death of locals in the community.

Aparo says she was caned several times resulting into injuries on her buttocks, back, legs and hands adding that she was later dumped at Omiya Anyima Police post minus any medical treatment.

Luo

//cue in “Won kom ma…

    Cue out:…meno pe odo.”//

  Translation  “…Our clan leader got a report from someone who reported to him that I have poisonous herbs. Rather than making an effort to understand the gist of the allegations, he instead mobilized many people and ordered for my caning so that I reveal the poisonous herbs which I didn't have, they tied my hands and caned me severely, I can’t even sit now…”

According to Aparo, the clan members after beating her raided her home and looted five sacks of groundnuts and maize and four chicken which she had anticipated to sell.

Luo  

  //cue in: “jami na ki…

  Cue out:…dong otweya ko.”//

  Translation    “…All my property have been looted yet I'm a widow and HIV positive, they stole five sacks of maize, groundnuts and four chicken from my house. If the clan leader wanted to help me as a widow and that I committed any crime, I should have been subjected to lawful procedures so that I am jailed…” She said.

Aparo who has been transferred to Kitgum Central Police station detention cells says she is in pain and now afraid to back to her home fearing she might be killed.

Efforts to get comments from Okoya were futile as his known phone number wasn’t available by press time. 

Emily Afoyocan, Kitgum Central Police Station Community Liaison Officer condemned the steps taken by the clan leader and locals in the area to torture Aparo.

She notes that although police are investigating the allegations raised by the clan leader, the same complainants have committed an offence by taking the law into their hands and will be charged with torture and theft.

“Even if the woman had committed a crime, they had no right to subject her to torture by tying her hands, legs before canning her in front of her children and confiscating her properties, that was so inhuman,” Afoyocan said. 

Afoyocan notes that police have already contacted the complainants to appear for questioning. 

The Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act of 2012, Article 24 provides that no person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Under section 4 (1) of The Prevention And Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012, the maximum punishment for the offence of Torture is fifteen years or a fine of three hundred and sixty currency points or both.