Police under the spotlight for torturing man arrested for wearing red ‘People Power’ T-shirt

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

Uganda Police has again returned into the spotlight over human rights abuse after a one minute video shows officers brutalizing a suspect went viral.

On Thursday, several people were arrested along Entebbe road as Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine returned from the US for specialized treatment.

Police had earlier warned against rallies and processions along the highway.

However, in a phone video recorded by an unknown person, police officers at Kajjansi police station are seen beating, slapping and kicking an unidentified man allegedly arrested for putting on a red ‘People power’ T-shirt.

Despite crying out loud and pleading for mercy, the police officers are seen continuing with brutality on the suspect who was on handcuffs.

“Who told you people power is real power? Do you see people power here,” one police officer said.

Public fury

A number of people especially on social media where the video recording went viral have been furious over police’s continued brutality against members of the public.

“When he (IGP Ochola) assumed power, he claimed he was cleaning up the police but I think he just brought closer those torture chambers to the people,” said one Arthur Baleeta on twitter.

One Godfrey Mubuuke wondered whether it was a crime for having a feeling for   Kyagulanyi’s ‘people power’.

“IGP Ochola, this spectacle is bad for the force you lead and citizens demand that torture should never happen,”Mubuuke added.

Daniel Outeke said the police are now taking the law into their hands which he noted is very bad.

“This is heart breaking. And to think that we agonize ourselves on their ridiculous pay   and wish for better yet they themselves content with hate and brutality against the civilians,”Outeke said.

Police responds

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, police spokesperson Emilian Kayima said the force had taken note of an unacceptable manner by their officers and had opened investigations into the incident.

We have opened an inquiry into the conduct of these officers. These acts are not institutionalized, but individual acts that have no place in the Uganda Police Force. This is why all individuals involved will be investigated and penalized in accordance with the law. Justice will be done,”Kayima said in a statement.

The incident comes barely two months after the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola warned police officers against torturing suspects.

“I want you to wake up from slumber and we renew the force. We are not going to tolerate officers who abuse rights of suspects,” Ochola warned while passing out CID officers  at Kabalye police training school in Masindi district last month.

 

 

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