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Human Rights Tribunal Awards Compensation Worth UGX 116m in Soroti

The cases included the violation of rights to personal liberty for persons detained beyond 48 hours, violation of the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment and violation of the right to life.
Sarah Nakhumitsa, the Regional Humar Rights Officer in charge Soroti.

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The Uganda Human Rights Commission Tribunal has awarded a sum of 116.7 million Shillings to six victims of human rights violations.

The tribunal sitting in Soroti heard seven cases of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Police and Soldiers in the districts of Soroti, Ngora, Bukedea and Amuria. The cases included the violation of rights to personal liberty for persons detained beyond 48 hours, violation of the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment and violation of the right to life.

The victims, whom the commission in Soroti asked to remain anonymous were abused between 2008 and 2010 at Soroti Central Police Station, Ngora Central Police Station, Soroti Military Barracks and Kidongole Police Post in Bukedea district. The others were shot indiscriminately by the men in uniform during Christmas celebrations in Amuria district.

The tribunal presided over by the Commissioner, Shifra Lukwago awarded compensation ranging from 2.4 to 76 million Shillings to each of the victims depending on the circumstances of the case. All the cases and the awards are against the Attorney General that was represented by Juliet Topaco and Eric Mukisa.

It is the first tribunal in Soroti since 2019 when the commission lost the chairperson, Med Kaggwa. When asked why the commission is handling cases reported more than 10 years back in Soroti, Sarah Nakhumitsa, the Regional Human Rights Officer for Soroti said that they had some challenges in the constitution of the tribunal.

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Nakhumitsa told URN that her office has picked interest in human rights abuses in Kaberamaido where some suspects reportedly spend weeks in the police cells. According to reports in Kaberamaido, some suspects spent almost a month in Kaberamaido Central Police Station last December before they were taken to court.