98% of Ugandans Arrested for Flouting Covid19 SOPs Pay Bribe to Regain Freedom

If you are arrested for flouting Covid19 guidelines in Uganda, you must pay a bribe in order to regain your freedom or else you would spend several days in custody without appearing in court. This is according to according to a report released by a local human rights organization.

Foundation for Human Rights Initiative –FHRI founded and headed by Dr Livingstone Ssewanyana, indicates that since Covid9 outbreak, soldiers and police officers have been making a killing from suspects accused of disobeying Standard Operating Procedures- SOPs intended to curtail the spread of the contagious disease.

Dr Ssewanyana said several people they spoke to from March when Uganda detected her first Covid19 case and went into lockdown, revealed that they had been released after paying money to security personnel.

Uganda Police Force- UPF, Uganda People’s Defence Forces –UPDF and Local Defence Units- LDUs have been at the forefront of enforcing Covid19 orders issued by President Yoweri Museveni and ministry of health led by Dr Jane Ruth Aceng.

FHRI indicates that Ugandans were detained without recording statements and a few who were taken to court did not know why they had been arrested. The accused would learn about the offences while in court.

Besides money being extorted from Ugandans and being in detention for more than 48 hours contrary to country’s constitution, a number of Ugandans have been shot, beaten and killed on allegations of defying Covid19 orders.

Media in Uganda has been reporting that more than a dozen people have been killed by police and LDUs claiming that they were enforcing Covid19 orders. In addition, dozens of other people had their backs broken, eyes damaged and legs broken by security agencies.

FHRI also castigates UPDF and police for violating human rights in the ongoing campaigns for 2021 general elections. At least 54 people were shot and killed in the November 18 and 19 protests that followed the arrest of President Yoweri Museveni’s biggest challenger in next year’s elections.