Pictorial; Prisoners Face-off with Rights Commission in Sports Gala



Staff at the Uganda Human Rights Commission suffered defeat when they faced off with Kigo prison inmates in a sports gala held as part of the commemoration to mark twenty years of the country's human rights watchdog.

The gala held at Kigo prison on Thursday had female and male inmates playing netball and football against Uganda Human Rights Commission staff. It was aimed at the promotion of sports in correctional facilities and penal reform. 

The event initially appeared like a public relations function organized by Uganda Human Right Commission Communications Manager, Florence Munyira and the prison's authorities later turned very competitive as either side worked hard to score.

Only the team members of the 45 women in detention were allowed into the pitch while the rest remained behind cheering their colleagues.

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Some of the Commission's staff out of the pitch equally cheered their own and would visibly feel frustrated on their side that had the advantage of height missing to score. The situation quickly turned around with the inmates netting in the first ball.

Uganda Human Rights Commission is mandated to carry out inspections of detention places like prisons to find out whether the prison authorities comply with human rights requirements.

The female inmate's defeat of the Uganda Human rights Commission" ladies" was perhaps a unique inspection to prove Uganda Prison Service's claim that it uses sports or physical activity in the correctional setting.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission "ladies" retreated to bottles of water and sachets of glucose proving that they had met stronger side than they thought.   After the netball match, it was time for the male inmates to face Uganda Human Rights Commission football team.
Moses Sentalo, the Kigo men's prison said sports is used as one of the efforts to implement the Mandela Rules in correctional facilities like Kigo.
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The  'Nelson Mandela Rules' to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, 'who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle for global human rights, equality, democracy and the promotion of a culture of peace'.

One of the cardinal goals of the Nelson Mandela rules is the principle of treatment with respect for the dignity and value as human beings and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The game was played right inside the square structured- Kigo prison whose high walls serve as a fence. Over 1400 prisoners were spectating. The pitch was as dry as paved marrum road having lost all its grass perhaps due to routine matches. 


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