Gawaya Tegulle and Michael Aboneka of Thomas and Michael Advocates, say the suspects were arrested between October, 2018 and April, 2019. But security agencies have repeatedly refused to produce them in court.
Lawyers of five Rwandans detained by Internal
Security Organisation (ISO) and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) have
called for the respect of suspect’s rights.
Gawaya Tegulle and Michael Aboneka of Thomas and Michael
Advocates, say the suspects were arrested between October, 2018 and April,
2019. But security agencies have repeatedly refused to produce them in court.
The suspects are Eric Rugorotsi, a businessman arrested on
25th October 2018 by ISO officers; David Twahiirwa who was arrested by ISO
officers on 15th November 2018, Theoneste Ntakirutimana, a Pentecostal minister
was arrested by CMI on 28th March 2019, Assimwe Appolinaire, a Pentecostal
arrested by CMI officers on April 7th 2019 and Deus Gasana, a money changer
arrested by ISO on April 3rd April 2019.
In the case of Rugorotsi, the lawyers say they secured a
court order but ISO refused to produce him in court. Lawyers say security
agencies are infringing on the rights of the suspects.
“As lawyers, we have instituted legal proceedings in respect
of all these cases, but neither our demands nor the orders of court have been
respected by security agencies,” Aboneka said.
Adding that, “We challenge the security
agencies to come out and institute formal proceedings against our clients
without further ado.” The arrest of Rwandans is at the heart of the
Rwanda-Uganda diplomatic feud. Rwanda closed its Gatuna border at the end of
February and strongly advised its citizens against crossing into Uganda.
Rwanda accuses Uganda of hosting and aiding
dissidents plotting to destabilize Kigali government.
has repeatedly denied all accusations raised by Rwanda.
Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa
last month warned that Uganda will not tire from “protecting the security of
its citizens and borders and will act accordingly against local or foreign
threats.” He said anyone including Rwandans visiting Uganda have nothing to
fear if they are law abiding.
If arrested Rwandans pose a security threat to Uganda,
Aboneka says they should be produced in court. He says government has a duty to
respond to court summons and explaining why Rwandans are detained.
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Gawanya Tegulle says ISO has been extremely uncooperative by
refusing to acknowledge receipt of court documents and respond. This, he says
has complicated attempt to get suspects produced in court.