KAMPALA: The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among has condemned the manner in which the security operatives arrested the former opposition presidential candidate, Dr. Kiiza Besigye saying it was a breach of human rights.
“I watched how Dr. Besigye was being arrested, it was in a brutal way. I did not think that was correct; we need to talk to our people especially while handling people who are not armed,” said Among.
Besigye was arrested on May 12, 2022 as he attempted to walk to town in protest of rising commodity prices. He has since been under house arrest.
While chairing the House on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, Among said she did not approve of the way security officers conducted the arrest.
She directed the Attorney General, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka to guide security agencies on the right way of arresting not only leaders but everybody despite of the political affiliations saying, “even though he is in Opposition, we are the same; today it might be Dr. Besigye but tomorrow it might you”.
Among made the remarks after Bukonzo County West Member of Parliament, Hon. Atkins Katusabe described Besgiye’s arrest as violent, inhumane and degrading.
“Dr. Besigye is a national leader, a parent and a brother to some people and served this government as a Minister of Foreign Affairs but he was violently arrested, locked up and jerked around the trousers like a chicken thief. I don’t think anybody in this House enjoys these ugly scenes,” Katusabe said.
He was concerned that if such unlawful arrests and torture are left unchecked, they will spill over.
Invoking article 24 of the constitution which prohibits any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, Katusabe urged legislators to fight for the observance of human rights.
“Are we as the August House proceeding well if we keep ignoring ugly scenes that are tainting the country? It is within our power and mandate as MPs to protect and preserve this constitution; it is clear that nobody is above the constitution including those commanders that tortured Dr. Besigye,’ said Katusabe.
Kiira Municipality MP, hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda criticized the Police for arresting Besigye without a court order, a practice he said is becoming rampant.
“Last week, we had a report of the UN about violation of human rights that affect all of us. As I speak, Dr Besigye is under arrest even without a court order; you cannot turn his house into a prison,” Ssemujju said.