Human rights defenders in the Rwenzori sub region have been encouraged to work closely with security operatives in the process of executing their duties in line with the law.
The encouragement was sounded by the Resident District Commissioner for Kabarole, Stephen Asiimwe while officiating at the Regional Human Rights’ Defenders Dialogue that was held at Springs International Hotel in Kasese.
It was held under the theme “Advancing collaboration with duty bearers towards improved working environment of HRDs in Rwenzori region”
Asiimwe observed that sometimes the human right defenders do not follow the right channels while performing their duties, an act he said creates violence.
He appealed to them to always sensitize the relevant stakeholders including local leaders and cultural leaders among others about the law in an attempt to control the rate at human rights being violated.
The RDC lashed out at the various councils at all levels for allegedly failing to discuss matters that affect their communities but instead resort to passing budgets that only satisfy their personal interests.
In his remarks, the Rwenzori Region East Police Spokesperson, ASP Vincent Twesige, said that human rights’ defenders should first seek guidance from police and observe the Public Order Management Act as they carry out their activities to avoid any inconveniences.
On the side of media fraternity, restrictive laws, state actors interference with media freedom, intimidation, threats, arrests, hate speech were raised as critical challenges journalists in Rwenzori region face.
As the countdown to the 2021 elections intensifies, the coordinator, Umbrella for Journalists in Kasese (UJK) Bikeke Saimon, advised the journalists in the district in particular and the Rwenzori sub-region in general, to exercise maximum caution while reporting.
Bikeke noted that the country is undergoing yet another exciting democratic process that requires all Ugandans and her development partners to jealously guard the prevailing peace and stability and ensure a collaborative manner in advancing human rights.
“As Uganda goes to the polls in a few months, I call upon all journalists to strengthen partnership with stakeholders,”Bikeke said.
In response to journalists concerns, ASP Twesige confirmed having arrested four journalists while executing their work but quickly said no news is worthy someone’s life.
Addressing the media shortly after the dialogue, Robert Kirenga, the Executive Director National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders Uganda, explained that they decided to extend the dialogue to the Rwenzori sub region in order to empower all the stakeholders with the necessary guidelines of promoting human rights and ensuring they can work together harmoniously in promoting, protecting and fulfillment of human rights.
Albert Mwabaze, the legal officer with Uganda Human Rights Commission, Kabarole region, said some of the pertinent issues of juvenile offenders are; lack of rehabilitation centre, and growing concerns of human rights violation in the fishing communities.