Government has apologized to Ingrid Turinawe for the brutal arrest last week during a procession to rebrand outlawed Action for Change (A4C) as For God and My Country (4GC). Turinawe, the chairperson FDC Women League was on Friday assaulted by police officers who were captured on camera squeezing her breasts as they arrested her.
Government has apologized to Ingrid Turinawe for the brutal arrest last week during a procession to rebrand outlawed Action for Change (A4C) as For God and My Country (4GC).
Turinawe, the chairperson FDC Women League was on Friday assaulted by police officers who were captured on camera squeezing her breasts as they arrested her. The matter has received wide condemnation from parliamentarians and civil society organizations. The incident culminated into another demonstration where women activists removed their blouses in protest of police brutality.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi told parliament on Wednesday that after watching the video footage, he confirmed that the manner in which Turinawe was arrested was regrettable. He says the footage looked bad and he immediately contacted police for details. Police informed him that the officer responsible has been suspended. He however feigned ignorance of the gender of the police officer who arrested Turinawe.
The Prime Minister promised to reveal the name of the officer after investigations are complete. Mbabazi said government is determined to investigate the matter and the country shall be informed of the outcome.
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The apology came after women activists petitioned parliament protesting the manner police handled the opposition activist. They demanded that the police officers present during the arrest be named, suspended and prosecuted. The women from 14 different organizations wanted the police to make a public apology and assure Ugandans that they will reign in on the officers involved in the incident.
The women led by Betty Amongi, the chairperson Uganda Women Parliamentary Association also demanded vigilance by police during arrests to ensure that all citizens are handled with dignity.
Amongi questioned why Turinawe was the target when there were other big personalities like Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju involved in the procession. She condemned the arrest saying the manner was unlawful and violated Turinawe’s dignity, privacy and bodily integrity.
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The Police Act provides that police women shall be responsible for the search and arresting women suspects. This provision, according to the women activists, was violated when a male police officer was seen in the video footage arresting Turinawe. Besides, the arrest contravened internationally recognized standards of accused persons during arrest and detention.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga demanded to know when the report by police shall be out. She ordered that the report be brought to parliament before parliament breaks off in May.
James Baba, the State Minister for Internal Affairs appealed to Ugandans with any information to register it with police. The appeal also applied to media houses that captured the events of Friday last week.
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