The family of Guy Smith, an American national who was recently arrested over alleged involvement in subversive activities has dragged the Ugandan government to court to have him produced dead or alive.
Smith, married to a Ugandan was on the night of March 21, 2021 arrested by security and a statement released later by police indicated that he had been held on charges related to subversive activities against government.
However, on Friday, Smith’s family led by his wife and mother of two, Sharon Tusiime filed a habeas corpus application to have him produced to court dead or alive arguing that since his arrest, three weeks ago, he has never been arraigned in court as stipulated under the Constitution.
“He(Smith) had been to Ruharo Eye Centre in Mbarara for a surgical procedure on his right eye on 16 March 2021 and was still recovering when on 21 March 2021 at about 2:00 am when a squad commanded by the first respondent broke into our house and whisked him away in a drone van escorted by two other motor vehicles without any identification numbers,” Tusiime says in the application in which Brig. Chris Sserunjogi Ddamulira, the Police Director for Crime Intelligence, the Commandant Special Investigation Bureau in Kireka, Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General are listed as respondents.
Smith’s wife says that during or after the arrest, security operatives badly beat him up , destroyed and stole a lot of property from their home including two small phones, a camera, smartphone, car keys and his passport which were taken away and continue to be in security’s custody.
Tusiime says that with assistance from lawyers from the Centre for Legal Aid and consular officers from the US Embassy in Kampala, she visited Smith at the Special Investigations Division in Kireka and that on several occasions, he suffered heart failure, a sign that he is not receiving adequate care for his pre-existing condition.
“I have established from the above-mentioned sources that the applicant has up till now not been informed of the reason of his arrest, detention and unjust suffering at Kireka where he is routinely subjected to pointless interrogation about politics while blindfolded under the command and direction of the first respondent,” Smith’s wife says in her affidavit.
She wants court to order government to produce the American national dead or alive but also order his immediate unconditional release.