Unsolved Robberies and Murders as Uganda Fails to Protect Human Rights Defenders

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Photo of Robbers in the First Break-In that resulted in murder of a guard

Break-ins and violence against security personnel of human rights organizations seems endemic in Uganda, as elucidated in an article penned by an Ugandan human rights defender, who concludes that the State is failing to protect its human rights community, with police refusing to see human rights defenders as community partners:

ADRIAN JJUUKO, Executive director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) noted in an article published in the Ugandan Observer:

“The continuing apathy of the police to the threat is part of the reason why human rights organisations in Uganda now must ask the question: what is the protection available to human rights organisations?

Whereas general insecurity seems to be on the rise in the country, organisations working on issues of civil and political rights as well sexual and gender minority rights seem to be taking more heat than other identifiable targets.

This is because human rights defenders are often at risk anyway for no reason beyond the work that they do, and the state has an obligation to provide protection for human rights defenders in recognition of the fact that they carry out important and legitimate functions in supporting the state to ensure full respect and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, rule of law and democracy.” (The full article can be read HERE.)

This commentary follows a series of violent and costly robberies at HRAPF offices, where personnel have been murdered and injured, and despite heaps of available evidence including blood samples and CTV photos, the investigations have been inept, with poor responses and zero results.

Comment By Melanie Nathan, African HRC:  – one can only reach the conclusion that because the Ugandan police have failed to apprehend these perpetrators with a myriad of evidence available  – they are either refusing to assert their part in the process of law and order to protect human rights defenders or they are severely incompetent!   They certainly have a lot to answer to. Lets hope some a caring Ugandan community and politicians will have the courage to take issue with this and stand up for ALL Ugandans.

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