The UPDF has denied as untrue allegations that a lady was arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence,(CMI) and later tortured and raped by soldiers.
29-year-old woman, Alexandreos Marinos, a resident of Mbuya told media earlier this week that she was last month arrested on allegations of supporting and playing National Unity Platform leader, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s music.
““They covered my head and drove off to a place that I cannot describe upto now, I just heard them opening the door and pushing me in. They had warned me against playing “Bobi Wine’s music” and ordered me to stop supporting NUP or else I would face dire consequences,”Marinos said.
She mentioned some people she said had participated in the kidnap, torture and rape.
On Friday, the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Felix Kulayigye dismissed the claims as baseless.
“She has never been anywhere in UPDF detention leave alone CMI. The days she alleges to have been kidnapped and detained show she was making communication on phone. How can a detainee make phone calls,”Kulayigye said.
Presenting a phone printout said to be intelligence information, the army said data indicates the lady was making several phone calls during the days Marinos said she was in detention.
“She says she was in detention to two days. This phone printout is from March 27th up to April, 4,2022.These are people she has been discussing with during the period of detention as she says,”Lt Col Chris Magezi, the public relations officer for the UPDF Land Forces said.
The army also presented two people including one Erias Ssengooba and Sergeant Ali Hassan Matovu that the 29 year old woman had accused of personally participating in the torture and alleged rape.
The UPDF spokesperson described Ssengooba a civilian and a neighbor to Marinos whereas Matovu works with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
He explained that Matovu only interfaced with the 29 year old lady in 2020 as part of investigations about Marino’s husband who was a Local Defence Unit personnel but had deserted.
“Her husband was an LDU deserter and in 2020 there was need to pursue whether this man had left any military equipment in her home. Sgt Matovu was one of the officers who interviewed her and we let her go.”
“We state and deny the claim that CMI was involved in her torture and detention .CMI doesn’t know her or has been in its detention. We are unable to determine why she came with the allegations which have no aorta of truth. We are unable to explain the source of bodily injuries she claims to have got .We can only speculate the motive of her allegations,” Brig Kulayigye said.
On the torture allegations, the UPDF said they cant explain where the torture marks could have been inflicted on Marinos as she alleges.
The army spokesperson however noted that the same could be one of the gimmicks by Ugandans to seek asylum abroad.
“Where she got injuries we don’t know, if she has them anyway. Our investigations will establish if at all she was injured. Whatever her motivation might be, we will continue to review this incident and find out what happened. We have always been steadfast in condemning torture and any human rights violation. However, we have witnessed one of the quickest ways to claim asylum or refugee status in Europe and America is claiming persecution. This could be the same for her,” Brig Kulayigye said.