Uganda police Force does not condone torture and all perpetrators of torture and other forms of physical, mental, and psychological abuse by police officers are punished, the Inspector General of Police, J.M. Okoth Ochola (Esq) has said.
While reacting to the president’s concerns on torture as carried in his speech on Saturday, Ochola said there is no justification whatsoever under any circumstances, or orders from a superior officer or public authority for torture.
He adds that although, under the police they cannot claim a perfect record in the fight against torture, his leadership has long been vigorous in fighting torture with very strict prohibitions.
“However, as a result of continued concerns of torture, I pledge to continue reviewing our efforts to ensure appropriate guidelines on the use of force and authority are respected. I want to thank the government for enacting the important legislation on the prohibition of torture, which institutes criminal and civil action for practices of misconduct by those responsible for torture and other forms of cruel and inhumane treatment of suspects” the IGP says.
He has asked the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services, which is actively enforcing the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012, and the Human Rights Enforcement Act, that permit criminal Prosecution of Police officers who willfully deprive individuals and groups of their rights and freedoms, to come up with a list of all police Officers Prosecuted.
He also shared the helplines aimed at addressing al] concerns of torture by Police Officers. These are 0714668083 and 0707-601052.
“As I conclude, I do reiterate that torture is categorically denounced as a matter of Policy in the police, and we remain committed to the full and effective implementation of our obligation under the Anti-torture and Human Rights Enforcement Laws of our country,” Ochola said.
The IGP also noted that through the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services, the force has rolled out the Anti-torture laws, where the emphasis has been on the protection of every individual life, liberty, and physical integrity. “We are also reviewing our policies and practices to ensure compliance with the Anti-torture laws. Our frontline units from the Professional Standards Unit, the Human Rights Department, and the Disciplinary Courts have pursued all allegations of torture as an integral part of the UPF policy on Human Rights and the prohibition of torture which was launched in 2019.”