The Uganda Human Rights Commission has condemned the partisan tendencies of the police while handling matters related to the removal of age limit debate.
Meddie Mulumba the acting chairperson of the commission and Nyakana Patrick the secretary general for the commission while addressing the media, said that the commission pronounced on the human rights concerns arising out of the incidents of violation of right and freedoms that had occurred in the anticipation of and following the tabling of a motion for a bill to amend the constitution to lift the presidential age limit.
The commission castigated the high handedness and discriminatory tendencies of the security agencies and violent actions of some political actors and members of the public who were involved in the scuffles.
On police being too partisan, the commission has previously condemned the double standards of the police in dealing with activists opposed to the lifting of the age limit. It is stated that the police have handled some meetings in a partisan manner, dispersing consultations of the opponents of the removal of term limits while providing security for the proponents of age limit removal. None of the consultative meetings of the proponents has been dispersed or suffered use of excessive force by police.
The commission has noted with concern the unclear role that police have assumed in regulating consultations regarding the age limit bill. The commission has been following the media reports of statements and press release issued and in some instances actions by the police on this matter such as banning the red ribbons, harassment of people clad in red even at Mandela National stadium when the national team was hosting Ghana, banning of Bobi wine’s Music show among others.
The commission also noted that there are reports of detention of suspects apprehended by police following the dispersing of numerous rallies held across the country to discuss the lifting of the presidential age limit beyond the mandatory 48-hour period as provided under the article 23(4) b of the constitution.
The commission also noted that the detention of Dr. Kiiza Besigye, Ingrid Turinawe and Patrick Amuriat who were arrested in Rukungiri and later transferred to Nagalama police station where they were detained for long hours than the mandatory time.
It was also deeply troubled by the persistent use of live bullets by police while dispersing crowds despite their repeated calls to them to exercise restraints and to use reasonable force as required to them under the UN principles and code of conduct for law enforcement officials.