The Uganda Human Rights Commission has appealed to Parliament and the government of Uganda to expedite the enactment of the anti torture law aimed at punishing perpetrators of torture.
The Chairperson of the UHRC, Medi Kaggwa says the proposed anti torture bill has been shelved for long yet Uganda needs a law that punishes those who commit torture and compensates torture victims.
Kaggwa said this on Monday while briefing journalists in Kampala ahead of celebration to mark the international day against torture in support of torture victims that will be marked on June 26th.
Kaggwa says cases of torture in Uganda are on the increase and the law is needed to bolster current efforts by the Uganda Human Rights Commission to sensitize security forces against torture.
The Human Rights body also demanded for unrestricted entry into detention centers in order to verify conditions under which suspects and the accused are being held. They are also calling for the establishment of a victims compensation fund for torture victims, in order to ensure justice for those who face torture.
Although the commission has made many awards of compensation to torture victims, the government has not fulfilled them since there is no budget for compensating torture victims.
Among other things, the anti torture bill in Uganda is seeking to make torture a responsibility of the particular officers who commit the torture and not the government department for which they work. This means whoever commits torture will be liable for paying the compensation to the victim, a move the drafters of the bill believe will reduce or eliminate torturing tendencies in Uganda’s security forces.