President Museveni has warned security agencies to refrain from brutalizing suspects during arrest and after arrest.
Last week, a video circulated depicting the inhumane manner in which security operatives arrested Yusuf Kawooya, a Kampala businessman in which they beat him with gun butts despite his pleas.
In guidelines issued on Sunday to the Chief of Defence Forces for the UPDF, Inspector General of Police, Director General ISO and the ESO Director General, Museveni said the arresting officers should always identify themselves before carrying out any arrest to avoid being doubted by the public
“That is what I told all of you in my letter against torture of the 15th May, 2017. Therefore, the security personnel should be patient, restrained but also firm. If the criminal resists arrest, wrestle him down and handcuff him,”Museveni said.
“If he strikes you, strike back hard with fist until he stops attacking you. If he tries to use a knife, a gun, a club or any dangerous missile when you are in close proximity, shoot him so as to disable him. If he is threatening to harm wanainchi or destroy property, shoot him after due warning. It is, therefore, not necessary to make mistakes.”
Recently, the army and police in a joint operation shot one Abdul Kateregga suspected to be part of group that killed ASP Muhammad Kirumira dead in what security described as a raid on a suspected terror cell in Namungoone, Rubaga division in Kampala.
Relatives would later petition the High Court in Kampala for an order of inquest into Kateregga’s death saying it was violent, unnatural and therefore is a subject to an inquest under the Inquests Act.
In the guidelines issued, Museveni said that if a suspect tries to use a knife or gun or any other dangerous object, security operatives going to arrest him should shoot only to disable him and not kill him.
The president explained that any criminal arrested should never be beaten using sticks or even gun butts because it is not only unfair but also gives a bad image to the country.
“It is not necessary because what you want is for this criminal to pay for his sins. How? By being tried and sentenced. You do not have to beat him or maim him. He will be punished by being imprisoned or even hanged, if he is sentenced. You should, therefore, not play in the criminal’s hands by beating him/her so that he gains public sympathy. In what capacity are you beating the criminal? Are you the punisher? You are not. Your job is to detect, investigate, arrest and interrogate the suspect by using the facts of your investigations,”Museveni said.
“Even if the criminal denies, the facts will pin him down. Constitutionally, the punishers of criminals in Uganda are the courts of law. Their punishments include long terms of imprisonment, fining wrong doers or even hanging them. Therefore, security personnel do not meddle and spoil the process. Just do your part.”