Justin Komakech, a resident of Amuru District was brutally arrested in August, and later tortured by Environment Police personnel after he recorded a phone video of the officers extorting money from a charcoal dealer in a truck. The officers forced Komakech to write an apology prompting the intervention of Amuru District leaders. He later reported the matter to the Police Professional Standard Unit in Gulu City, but to-date his tormentors are still at large, yet some witnesses declined to record statements.
of delayed justice and reproach from tormentors, several torture victims in
Acholi are silently enduring painful life experiences that resulted from encounters
with cruel security personnel.
them are victims of the high rate of crime, land evictions that involve influential
state and non-state actors; electoral violence relating to recently concluded
general elections and enforced Covid-19 pandemic curfew.
Akello, 48, a market vendor at Gulu Main Market and resident of Kirombe village
in Gulu West Division was battered and injured on her way home by security personnel
enforcing second lockdown curfew in July.
nearly a month nursing her clobbered right leg and was not able to provide
for her four children resulting into emotional torture. She never bothered to report the case for fear of not being served justice.
One the fateful
day, the same security personnel enforcing curfew rules in Kirome also brutalized
Moses Laker Okot, 30. Laker, a political activist and law student at Gulu
University reported the matter to police but to date, people who witnessed his brutalisation declined to record statements.
Komakech, a resident of Amuru District was brutally arrested in August, and later
tortured by Environment Police personnel after he recorded a phone video of the
officers extorting money from a charcoal dealer in a truck.
officers forced Komakech to write an apology prompting the intervention of Amuru
District leaders. He later reported the matter to the Police Professional
Standard Unit in Gulu City, but to-date his tormentors are still at large,
yet some witnesses declined to record statements.
in..."My back is….”
Cue out… work am doing.”//
Such delays and failures to dispense justice to victims has forced Ugandans remain silent. Alex Kigoye,
the Program Manager at the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of
Torture Victims – ACTV said many such survivors prefer silence denying access
to treatment and justice.
in..."The state will….”
Cue out… with my family.”//
According to Leila
Wakabi Hassan, a Mental Health Coordinator at ACTV, the long-term physical and psychological problems reported by
survivors of torture include trauma,
anxiety, depression, health and pain that are very frequent.
Herbert Nsubuga, the Executive Director of the centre asserted that the absence
of a witness protection law in the country remains a hindrance to dispensing
justice to survivors of torture but urged torture victims to always seek justice
in..."Please use the….”
Cue out… witness
indicate that annually, ACTV receives at least 1,000 cases of torture cases of
which 30 per cent are from refugee settlements across the country.
Between 2016 and
2020, the centre recorded up to 6, 230 cases of torture, with up to 2020 cases
registered in 2019.
The prohibition of torture and other
cruel, inhuman and ill treatment or punishment has a legal recognition in Uganda
because the country is party to many international and regional instruments
which prohibit acts of torture and provide safeguards to its people.
However, some rights activists argue
that torture continues to persist because the government has not fulfilled commitment
to undertake impartial and independent investigations into allegations of
torture and ill treatment with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice.