Uganda Law Society condemns police brutality meted out against presidential candidates and their supporters
The Uganda Law Society (ULS) has condemned the chaotic scenes of police brutality witnessed during the second day of presidential nominations held Tuesday at Kyambogo ahead of the 2021 general election.
On Tuesday, 3rd November, the country was treated to drama as the Uganda Police Force quelled processions mobilized by opposition candidates Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias ‘Bobi Wine’ of the National Unity Platform and Hon. Patrick Oboi Amuriat of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), along with their supporters.
Bobi Wine, whose nomination was by and large successful, was brutally arrested immediately thereafter as he planned to hold a procession to his party offices apparently to launch his manifesto, and driven to his home – suit torn and tie askew.
On his part, FDC’s Patrick Amuriat was violently arrested from his party’s offices and driven to the nomination centre in Kyambogo, losing his shoes in the process. He attended to his nomination bare footed. The Police said he intended to hold a procession of some 2000 supporters.
“Taking note of the directive from the Office of the Inspector General of Police that was issued on November 2, 2020 to deal with anyone sabotaging the nomination process, the Uganda Law Society states that this does not take away the freedom of the people to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed as is provided for under Article 29(1)(d) of the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda” a media statement by the Law Society President Pheona Nabasa Wall reads.
Processions and several other public gatherings have been restricted in Uganda as part of the country’s measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
The violent scenes of police brutality have since sparked controversy online with several social media users including celebrities and politicians criticizing the Uganda Police’s arrest methods via the hashtag #StopPoliceBrutalityInUganda.
The lawyers lobby, which was established to assist members of the Public in matters related to the law, has further recommended the prosecution of errant police officers in their individual capacities and says is willing to provide legal support ” to the victims in their pursuit of justice should they need it.”