Lawyers under different organizations have hit back at Minister of
Security, Gen. Elly Tumwine over statements he made regarding the conduct of
security personnel during the two-day city protests.
On Friday Tumwine told journalists at the media center that the
police and other security personnel have a right to kill protesters if they are
attacked. Tumwine added that he had no apologies for anybody who was killed while
attacking security forces.
Speaking on Saturday at Makerere University Guest House lawyers
under their organizations; Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity, Uganda Muslim
Lawyers Association, Network for Public Interest Lawyers, Uganda Catholic
Lawyers Association and Muslim Center for Justice and Law, said the security
personnel can only kill when attacked by armed people.
Fredrick Ssemwanga, the Secretary-General of the Uganda Catholic
Lawyers said that what was witnessed during the protests is security personnel
directly targeting unarmed people who were not involved in the protests.
Ssemwanga says that the actions of the security personnel are
unacceptable and illegal.
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On Wednesday and Thursday this week, riots and demonstrations
broke out in Kampala and around the country after the arrest of National Unity
Platform presidential candidate, Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu in Luuka district.
Over 50 people have so far have been confirmed as having died mainly from
bullets that were fired at them by joint security forces of the police, army
and the Local Defense Unit.
John Osapiri, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Christian
Lawyers Fraternity called upon key government institutions such as the
Judiciary, Parliament, the Inspector General of Police and the Army to
investigate their officers who might have carried out the indiscriminate
killing of innocent Ugandans. Osapiri said that it is only when there is
accountability that such actions will not be repeated in the future.
He said that the only way Uganda will have a free and fair
election in 2021, is to allow candidates to freely interact with their
supporters without undue interference from security forces.
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The lawyers said they are
going to investigate the human rights violations with a view of dragging the
perpetrators to court to answer to these charges. They called upon all persons
who might have been affected, to reach out to them to see how they can help
them access justice.