Canadian Rots in Luzira

4546 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
A Canadian of Ugandan descent, Okongo Charles, is currently in a poor health at Luzira upper prison after he was arrested in Nebbi on charges of treason early this year.

A Canadian of Ugandan descent, Okongo Charles, is currently in a poor health at Luzira upper prison after he was arrested in Nebbi on charges of treason early this year.

Okongo, arrested with 53 others in a police round-up operation in Northern Uganda, was transferred to Kampala and kept at Kiira road and Kawempe police stations for a month before he was presented before the Buganda road court to be charged with treason.

However, the hearing was halted after the DPP’s office said inquiries into the matter were incomplete and hence could not prosecute them.

Okongo then applied for bail which he was denied by the court and remanded to date in Luzira where he is currently battling with breathing complications and fever.

UPC head of Human rights desk Michael Orach Osunde, who disclosed the information, told URN that the 53 people were being kept in police stations during day and later in the evenings taken for torture at the defunct Rapid Response unit.

//cue in:”early February ………………………………
Cue out: ……………………………………charged with treason”//.

Attempts to talk to Okongo were futile as the prisons authority turned down our visit due to Okongo’s health.

The Canadian consulate could also not verify his citizenship as the law only permits them to speak about their citizen with his consent which URN could not get.

Among the 53 arrested people are Okoth Matthew, Opobo Paul, Oulanyah Charles and Elomu Itah among others.

The 53 suspects were presented before Buganda road court on March 23rd this year but however they were remanded after the state prosecutor said the inquiries into their case are not yet complete.

The treason case against the 53 people presents alot of eyebrow raisers like their arraignment in court before the completion of the DPP’s investigation, the denial of mandatory bail to the interested parties and the mode of their arrest.

The DPP Richard Buteera told URN that he had seen the file of the 53 people but however needed more time to investigate their relation to treason activities.

Foundation for Human rights initiative has offered to represent the 53 people in the courts of law under pro-bono service.

 

Mentioned: upc