Muslims lawyers under their umbrella the Uganda Muslim Lawyers Association (UMLAS) have joined other human rights defenders to express their dismay about the extra judicial killings, torture and blatant abuse of the rights of the suspects accused of attempting to murder Gen. Katumba Wamala.
In a statement seen by The Nile Post, the lawyers also decried alleged bias against Muslim suspects.
They argued that it’s wrong for security organs to brand the Islamic faith with criminality whenever high profile figures in the country are shot dead.
They also took issue with statements attributed to the deputy Inspector of Police, Gen. Paul Lokech, who was quoted to have said that those who have been involved in the assassinations are all in the ADF fraternity which is Muslim led.
According to the lawyers such statements are quite reckless, unfortunate and border on an inherent islamophobia mentality and further inflame the situation as they give leverage to security forces to pounce and violate peoples’ rights anyhow, at will, in complete disregard of the presumption of innocence.
While they pursue alternative legal options, the lawyers said they shall not only defend the rights of suspects but also to take legal action against the perpetrators of human rights abuses as individuals and vicariously against the government agencies.
“We also intend to apply for an inquest to investigate the circumstances under which the suspects were killed. We wish to caution the government to desist from this systematic abuse of legal processes because it can lead to a situation where people decide to go native and engage in extra-legal means to defend their inherent rights,” they explained.
“The birth of extremism, radicalism and violence, which has bedevilled many once good nation states, comes from a backdrop of relentless violent abuse from the establishments, with no checks and balances, according to the lawyers.
They called upon all relevant offices concerned to take disciplinary action against the perpetrators of these gross abuses of human rights.