Supporters of National Unity Platform-NUP have been hit by very disturbing news over reports of inhuman treatment of their comrades on remand in Kitalya State Prison.
Hundreds of activists aligned to Bobi Wine’s NUP are believed to be held at different detention facilities, including over 30 from the former Presidential Candidate’s close campaign team. Most notable among these include Bobi Wine’s long time confidant Ali Buken aka Nubian Li, Bodyguard Eddy Ssebuufu aka Eddy Mutwe among others.
These have been slapped with treason related charges, undergoing trial in the Military Court Martial in Makindye since their arrest about 6 months ago.
But now, Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake Butebi has accused government of keeping his comrades under very deplorable conditions and gross torture.
He also castigates the prison leadership of forcefully shaving off the hair of the activists in complete disregard of the prison act provisions which exempt inmates on remand from such.
In Kitalya, Zaake alleges that the NUP inmates are forced to remove their clothes and flogged on bare bodies every day, a treatment he says is only suitable for armed robbers and other hardcore criminals.
“When your prison guards at Kitalya received my comrade Nubian Li and 35 other members of Hon. Kyagulanyi’s 2021 presidential campaign team jailed there for the last 6 months, they subjected them to the most cruel and dehumanising treatment. The mistreatment included stripping them butt-naked and then shaving off their hair in deliberate disregard of the Prisons Act which requires prison officials to keep the hair of prisoners awaiting trial “in the same state as it was on admission.” Zaake wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.
This, he says was caused by a picture painted by the security to the guards at Kitalya that the NUP inmates at their facility are violent criminals. He also claims that the prison warders have been employed for too long for a regime that has no respect for human rights, which has in turn made them get used to mistreating those entrusted to their custody.
When the issue was brought to the attention of Parliament, Zaake says he thought the yoke on his men’s shoulders would be lessened but instead worsened.
He reveals that they have since been isolated from each other, and leaders among them are reportedly stripped naked every night and sexually assaulted.
“I thought that if Parliament visited these prisoners of conscience, their suffering would be alleviated. But their prison conditions instead became worse: they are now isolated from each other, and some of their leaders are reportedly stripped every night and sodomized,” the legislator alleges.
“They have not only lost their liberty, but also lost their families either to death or despair. By the time they regain their freedom, many will have lost their jobs, too, or businesses. You have answered their pleas for a secure future with persecution,” adds the MP in sarcasm.
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