The fraternity of Uganda christian lawyers, catholic lawyers and the Muslim Centre for Justice have hit back at Minister of Security, Gen. Elly Tumwine, over statements he made regarding the conduct of security personnel during the two-day city protests that led to the death of at least 40 people.
The remarks followed the recent statement made by Tumwine to the effect that the police and other security personnel have a right to kill protesters if they are attacked.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, the chief executive officer, Uganda Christian lawyers, John Osapiri condemned the high handed treatment including arrests and brutalising of members of the media and opposition politicians by security forces which resulted in body harm.
He said that the security personnel can only kill when attacked by armed people adding that what was witnessed during the protests was security personnel directly targeting unarmed people who were not involved in the protests.
“We come out to condemn the degeneration from civility to criminality that was witnessed in different parts of the country as individuals and groups of people expressed their dissatisfaction,”he said.
He noted that Tumwine was out of order to state that police and other security organs have a right to shoot civilians in certain circumstances.
He said that it is only when there is accountability that such actions will not be repeated in the future.
Fredrick Ssemwanga, the secretary-general of the Uganda Catholic Lawyers said it was unfortunate to hear a top government official saying that police can shoot to kill.
“That’s illegal. It is not found under any law. The duty of the police is to protect the public but not to kill the civilians as the minister stated and the role of the army is very clear under the Constitution and UPDF Act,”he said.