The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has condemned the increasing tendency of killing suspects by Police and its sister security agencies which in turn sabotages investigations of some crimes such as terrorism.
Addressing journalists at the FDC headquarters at Najjanankumbi on Monday, the party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said it has become so common for security officers to kill suspects who moreover are handcuffed. He added that the standard claim by Police is that the suspects were confronting their personnel or were attempting to flee.
“Sheikh Muhammad Kirevu is the latest victim of this state-inspired killing. While as a party, we cannot affirm Sheikh Kirevu’s innocence or guilt, we condemn his murder because that is not what our Constitution provides. Article 28 of the Ugandan Constitution presumes every suspect is innocent until proven guilty or until that person pleads guilty. The killing of Sheikh Kirevu, therefore, qualifies as extrajudicial killing and those who committed it, will one day be personally held responsible,”Ssemujju said.
The Kira Municipality MP added that the killing of Sheikh Kirevu looked like an intended move because all the earlier suspects in the attempted assassination of Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala were murdered by Police and military men in the same suspicious circumstances.
“They were first arrested, handcuffed, blindfolded, driven around and then shot dead… .This is deliberate and it appears to be the new policy of the Museveni administration. Those that were not murdered, were severely tortured. An embarrassed Museveni came out to condemn torture. The latest Museveni is however now justifying the extrajudicial murder of Sheikh Kirevu. Our Constitution, Penal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act provide severe punishment for murderers and terrorists. Why not present evidence before a special court, have the suspects sentenced to death and sign a certificate to have them hanged.”
Ssemujju also asserted that they are not condemning Police for arresting anyone however killing suspects creates suspicion as to whether they were guilty in the first place. He advised that such practice is not unacceptable and it must stop immediately.
In the same spirit, the legislator cautioned that there is a deliberate move of security agencies to criminalize Muslims.
“Mr. Museveni must also be very careful when profiling suspects. The Muslim community especially of the Tabliq sect is in great fear because of these targeted killings and profiling. Museveni has now turned himself into an interpreter of the Islamic faith. He is a new expert on religious concepts like Jana(heaven). Mosques are being declared radicalization centers by Museveni and Security, we fear they may begin invading mosques while Muslims are in prayers.”
Ssemujju recalled that following the July 11th, 2010 bombing at Lugogo by the Al Shabab, People of Somali origin suffered from discrimination and many Somalis were arrested simply because they were Somalis.
“In fact, an Egyptian who had come to Uganda as an exhibitor at annual UMA show ended up being arrested because he looked like a Somali and therefore a terrorist. Raids on mosques, arresting of people attending madrasa and profiling Tabliqs as suspects is a form of discrimination. The security agency must exercise a lot of caution dealing with this problem.”
He further warned that it has always been President Museveni’s mission to radicalize the Muslim community by using their names right from the time of his liberation war.
“You remember late Brig. Chefe Alie, late Shaban Bantariza and Gen. Salim Saleh. All these who engaged in rebellions used Islamic names. Museveni and Amama Mbabazi were using the name Kassim to access money to fund the Luwero war.”
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