Uganda’s Human Rights Record Set for UN Review
The United Nations is set to review Uganda’s human rights performance over the last five years, as concerns grow about various issues in the country.
The review is part of the UN’s scheme to improve the human rights situation in all member states, and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process will start with a presentation from Uganda.
Questions over human rights
Uganda was first reviewed under the scheme in 2011, when a series of recommendations were made to the country, highlighting a number of areas where human rights violations were prevalent.
A series of investigations were announced off the back of the review and some reforms were put in place, but many of the recommendations were rejected – including the abolishment of the death penalty in Uganda.
While Uganda’s commitments to investigating a string of human right violations are yet to be fulfilled.
Uganda making no progress
FDC spokesperson, Mr Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, is among those who fear Uganda has made no progress over the last five years:
“From the operations of the police, the changes only arose after we invoked the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act and sued individual police officers including (the Inspector General of Police) Gen Kale Kayihura. I think they got embarrassed and they are now more cautious, but not because the country is due for a review,” he told Daily Monitor.
One area that’s particularly alarming for rights groups is the ongoing persecution of gay men in the country. Homosexuality was banned in 1952 and the accounts of torture are frequent, however the police and government refuse to acknowledge such incidences.
“When we arrest gay people, we take them to the courts of law,” Kampala police spokesman Emilian Kayima told the Independent.
“If any gay person claims they have been tortured or forced to undergo anal examination, they need to come forward with evidence stating when and where it happened instead of running to the press to make baseless claims.”
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