Any police officer found guilty of violating human rights will personally incur the cost of compensation, Police Chief Martin Okoth Ochola has said.
This follows the putting in place of the Human Rights (Enforcement) Act, 2019.
Torture remains the most recorded human rights violation in Uganda with the police accounting for a majority of the incidents, according to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).
According to Ochola, the law has far reaching consequences on the way Police performs its duties and the provisions therein have put a lot of emphasis on personal liability for violation of rights by an officer.
“Important to note is that responsible officers will now be required to personally incur the cost of compensation in the event of an award by court,” IGP Ochola said in a police statement dated July 3.
The statement also adds that police unit commanders across the country have been tasked to observe human rights ‘without fail.’
The police has often hidden behind the Public Order Management Act (POMA) to deny Ugandans and opposition politicians a right to gatherings.
POMA stipulates that before holding a gathering, the police should be notified in advance.
Also, the police have been accused of holding people in detention for longer than 48 hours without being charged.
Ochola also cited denial of a right to a fair hearing such as access to a lawyer, corruption, delayed prosecution as the other forms of human rights violations.
The UHRC has in the past cautioned security agencies against negating their Constitutional obligations to fulfill their duty to observe and respect human rights and freedoms at all times in the performance of their functions.
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