Uganda’s Human Rights Record Set for UN Review

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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.”

 

Featured image: By Wilfried Huss / Anonymous – Flag of the United Nations from the Open Clip Art website. Modifications by Denelson83, Zscout370 and Madden. Official construction sheet here.United Nations (1962) The United Nations flag code and regulations, as amended November 11, 1952, New York OCLC: 7548838., Public Domain, Link

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.