Amnesty International Demands Human Rights Observance in Kasese

2068 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
He says video footage broadcast by Ugandan TV stations shows the bodies of young men apparently dumped on river banks and in bushes, and men writhing in pain as they are tossed off pickup trucks with their hands tied behind their backs.

Amnesty International has asked Ugandan security forces not to abandon their human rights obligations while handling the Kasese clashes.  According to police, at least 62 people including police officers and Rwenzururu royal guards have been killed in the clashes and hundreds of others picked up. 

However, several bodies have continued emerging pushing the death rate to more than 120. In a statement issued this morning, Abdullahi Halakhe, Amnesty International's East Africa Researcher, notes that, according to police, the clashes followed attacks by the Royal guards on multiple police stations on 26 November, which claimed the lives of 14 police officers. 

"In a shocking display of heavy-handedness, many people appear to have been summarily shot dead and their bodies dumped," reads the statement. He says although complete details of the clashes are yet to emerge, there are appears to be shocking examples of human rights violations.

"The full picture of the weekend's events is yet to emerge, but there appears to be shocking examples of unlawful killings and a complete disregard for human rights during the arrests," said Halakhe. He says video footage broadcast by Ugandan TV stations shows the bodies of young men apparently dumped on river banks and in bushes, and men writhing in pain as they are tossed off pickup trucks with their hands tied behind their backs.

"Whatever the origin and source of the violence, the Ugandan security forces must not be allowed to jettison their human rights obligations. The government must ensure that police and soldiers observe restraint and desist from extrajudicial executions," said Halakhe.

Adding that, "The use of force during the events must be fully and transparently investigated, and those suspected of unlawful killings and other crimes such as torture must be brought to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty."

He says it is "It is imperative that the authorities ensure that detainees are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, and are given prompt legal representation and access to their families."