The Committee on Human Rights of parliamentarians has commended the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, for protecting and ensuring that rights of members are respected.
The commendation came as the 139th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union adopted reports of its various standing committees in Geneva, Switzerland on 18 October 2018.
In its Report, the Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians raised the complaint of the arrest and detention of MPs: Hon Robert Kyagulanyi Robert (Ind., Kyaddondo East), Hon Francis Zaake (Ind., Mityana Munic.) and other legislators ahead of the by election to fill vacant Arua Municipality seat in August.
The MPs, as well as Kassiano Wadri, who went on to win the seat in the by election, and other individuals were allegedly tortured during their arrest and subsequent detention by security agents.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms. Daniella Solorzano commended Parliament of Uganda for its swift and decisive decision to send a team of MPs to visit the MPs, report on their physical condition and find out what charges were brought up against them in court.
Ms. Solorzano also applauded the Speaker for seeking a response from the President, who instructed the Chief of Defense Forces to carry out immediate investigations.
Speaker Kadaga expressed her disappointment that Uganda had to be part of the Agenda at IPU and explained that all steps and investigations are being carried out to have the issues settled.
“It’s very unfortunate that for the first time in our history, Uganda as a country was reported to the Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians,” Kadaga said.
She further explained that upon receiving the complaints, she wrote to the Attorney General and asked for answers and that it is the Attorney General’s response that had been forwarded to the Committee.
The committee has adopted a resolution to send a delegation to Uganda to meet President Museveni, the Attorney General and other interested parties in the case.
“The committee has resolved that they would like to follow up on this case by attending court hearings and also carrying out interviews with the security chiefs,” Kadaga explained.