Francis Odongyoo, the Executive Director of Human Rights Focus (HURIFO) disclosed that some of the cases include the torture of Emmanuel Olanya, a resident of Bardege-Layibi division by armed Uganda People`s Defense (UPDF) soldiers and Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel on June 21st, 2021 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel, Hillary Onekalit that was captured on video.
Human rights activists have expressed concerns over
the rising cases of torture and rights violations in the Acholi Sub Region. They include Human Rights
Focus (HURIFO), Uganda Human Rights Commission and African Centre for Torture
The activists note that the
cases of torture and rights abuses are being perpetrated by
both the security personnel and community members. Speaking at a joint press briefing at the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) in Gulu City on Tuesday, the activists noted that they are currently pursuing justice for more than 20 torture victims in the region.
Francis Odongyoo, the Executive Director of Human Rights Focus (HURIFO)
disclosed that some of the cases include the torture of Emmanuel Olanya, a resident of
Bardege-Layibi division by armed Uganda People`s Defense (UPDF) soldiers and Local
Defence Unit (LDU) personnel on June 21st, 2021 under the command of
Lieutenant Colonel, Hillary Onekalit that was
captured on video.
In the nine minutes video, armed
UPDF soldiers and LDU personnel are seen beating
Olanya and two others severally with a wire lock, sticks and trampling on them while pouring water on them for over two hours for alleged of a battery belonging to Lt. Col. Onekalit`s vehicle.
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Odongyoo says the case was reported to the Human Rights Office in Gulu City and
Gulu Central Police Station under SD: 26/7/7/2021 but no actions have been
taken by the police. The suspects are still at large. He narrated another incident, in which two police officers identified as
Francis Ojok and one Odong assaulted
a serving UPDF soldier Corporal Richard Oweka RA
Number 18498 attached to Acol Pii on June 10th,
2021 for allegedly returning home with a firearm. Oweka was on official pass
The soldier suffered grave bodily injuries including a broken ankle and internal organ damage. Odongyoo
notes that the matter was
reported to Gulu Central Police Station under SD: 08/10/6/2021 and suspects where suspects also were summoned but nothing has
been done to date.
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The activists also cited
another case of torture involving Geoffrey
Ochen, 23, from Lamwo district on allegations of cattle
theft. Ochen was tied upside down on a tree and severely
beaten with clubs by a mob while pleading for mercy, saying he was innocent.
rights groups also identified some cases of torture
within detention cells, which included that of Brian Opiyo who was in 2016 tortured to death by fellow inmates at
Gulu Main Prisons under the watch of prison warders and three other cases from Kinene Prisons involving David Ojok,
Dominic Anywar and Bosco Okello, who succumbed to
Odongyoo denounced the acts of
torture and human rights abuses, saying it is unacceptable and called upon everyone to report to the relevant authorities for a torture free Uganda.
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Alfred Oketayot, the Programs Manager African Centre for Torture Victim (ACTV) rallied
everyone to join hands in the fight against torture. He also asked the law
to use its iron fist against the perpetrator of torture in the country in all
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The Aswa Region Police Spokesperson, David Ongom Mudong says that the cases are still under investigation. He, however, says that some cases like that of Lamwo are challenging because witnesses including the local chairperson shied away after being intimidated by the suspects.
Agnes Apiyo, a resident of Gulu City, who in 2015 lost her son
Brian Opiyo to torture from Gulu Central Prisons told URN on Tuesday that she
is still carrying the agony of losing an able son much as the court in June
this year awarded her compensation of twenty-million-Shillings in damages and death of her son.
Last week, President Museveni
cautioned security personnel against torture and noted that he will deal with
those implicated in such actions. The
activists have asked Museveni to walk his talk and act against human rights
violators, many of who are in government forces.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc