Uganda's president warns police, army against torture
Yoweri Museveni's communique comes amid allegations of ill-treatment made by suspects in custody
By Halima Athumani
Uganda’s president has written a communique to the country's army and police chiefs, warning against the torture of suspects.
Yoweri Museveni’s letter comes barely two weeks after suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi in March, submitted court evidence of having been tortured.
A week later, gruesome pictures surfaced of a town mayor with gaping wounds on his knees and ankles which were said to have been inflicted by police.
In his letter on Tuesday, Museveni told the security forces that extracting confessions was not necessary if investigators got results from fingerprints, photographs, DNA tests and other scientific methods to secure convictions.
“Somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured,” the communique read.
Museveni also warned against “defective shortcuts” adding that “evidence through torture is not reliable”.
On Monday, Human Rights Watch researcher Maria Burnett urged the country’s police to cease denials that torture did not exist.
“Officers who commit torture should be removed from police ranks. Police shouldn’t be allowed to commit crimes while seeking to fight them,” Burnett stressed.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.