UN warns government over police crackdown on opposition

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, country representative, Mr. Uchenna Emelonye addressing journalists at Protea Hotel. Emelonye condemned the clashes involving police and opposition leaders an incident that happened at Kanyaryeru along Kampala Mbarara road ten members of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) including the party’s flag bearer Dr. (rtd) Kizza Besigye were arrested while heading to Rukungiri district for a consultations rally.

United Nations Human Right has condemned the recent clashes involving police and opposition leaders an incident that happened at Kanyaryeru along Kampala Mbarara road Ten members of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) including the party’ flag bearer Dr. (rtd) Kizza Besigye were arrested while heading to Rukungiri district for a consultations rally.

“The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Uganda (OHCHR) is very concerned about allegations of excessive use of force and degrading treatment by officers of the Uganda Police Force on October 10th 2015. Of particular concern to the office are allegations that a woman was publicly stripped by police officers as she was being arrested. We urge the government to promptly launch an independent investigation into this and other related incidents, and to hold accountable any officer or officers who may have used excessive force or subjected individuals to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in line with the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012,” OHCHR, country representative, Mr. Uchenna Emelonye said yesterday.

In the interim, OHCHR draws the attention of the government of Uganda to the concerns highlighted by the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the Uganda Law Society and other civil society organizations on this incident, Emelonye.

“OHCHR is cognizant of the onerous responsibility of the government, particularly the police, to maintain law and order as required in a democratic setting. However, such functions must be carried out in line with the commitment to protect human rights,” he added.
Emelonye further urged government and its organs to ensure that the Public Order Management Act is not interpreted and applied in such a way that it curtails the enjoyment of fundamental human rights, especially the right to peaceful assembly in the context of elections.

“While underscoring the importance of the democratic process that Uganda is currently undergoing, OHCHR calls on the government to continue to create an enabling environment that bolsters respect for human rights and the rule of law.” he added.
Asked about his foresight of possible violence in the fourth coming election, he said, “there is concern that abuse of human rights may escalate into a violent election and post-election period like it has happened in various countries worldwide.”

The Kenya post-election violence claimed about 1,100 lives, displaced 660,000 and left thousands with long term injuries.