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Tortured UPDF Soldier Arrested for Speaking to the Press

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A UPDF soldier who was last month awarded 31 million shillings compensation by the Uganda Human Rights Commission for injuries inflicted upon him by his superiors has been arrested and court-martialed for speaking to the media.



38-year-old Enock Ngomya, a mortuary attendant at the UPDF Third Division headquarters in Mbale, was awarded compensation for the loss of his manhood when he was tortured by his bosses. In its ruling the Uganda Human Rights Commission described the torture as the act of evil men and sadist. They said it was illegal, oppressive, high-handed, unprovoked, barbaric, savage, extremely cruel and unjustified.



Shortly after the ruling on the 14th of October this year, Ngomya gave an extensive interview to members of the press in Mbale, relating his experience. He said the torture, which took place at his former workstation at the Kakiri Barracks in Wakiso district, occurred during a morning parade in March 2004. He said he was unduly punished for responding to a call to remove a dead body from the barracks mortuary instead of attending the compulsory morning parade.



The soldier, who was divorced because of his injuries, begged to be retired from the army/



Three days later, Ngomya was arrested.



Appearing before the Third Division court martial yesterday, Ngomya was charged with conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the armed forces. He maintained his innocence.



John Baptist Mulindwa, the chairman of the court martial, said Enock Ngomya spoke to the press without authority from the army leadership and was to be disciplined for his actions.



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Ngomya has not received a single penny of the compensation awarded to him.

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