UHRC Commission Investigate Prison Warders for Torture

2175 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
The trio is accused of assaulting Pascal Lutabi, a reporter with WBS Television and John Bosco Mulyowa, a journalist with the Vision Group.

Uganda Human Rights Commission-UHRC is investigating three warders at Kalisizo government prison accused of beating up two journalists. The suspects are Robert Ssematta, the officer in charge of Kalisizo Government Prison, Tom Okello and Frank Kyomuhiru.  The trio is accused of assaulting Pascal Lutabi, a reporter with WBS Television and John Bosco Mulyowa, a journalist with the Vision Group. It all started after Lutabi and Mulyowa rushed to Kalisizo Prison to report on the escape of ten inmates on March 18th. 

No sooner, had they arrived at Kalisizo prisons than the warders started assaulting them with gun buts and batons accusing them of filming the facility without authorization. A medical report issued by Dr. Grace Kyasimire of Kisa Medical Centre shows that Lutabi suffered bodily injuries as he sustained bruises on the forehead and hands.  The two journalists also accused the prison warders of confiscating and destroying their cameras. Now, Uganda Human Rights Commission has opened a file number Msk/20/13 against the three prison warders.
Willy Agirembabazi, the Masaka regional Uganda Human Rights Commission Officer says they have decided to investigate the three prison warders for alleged torture. He says they picked interest in the matter because Pascal Lutabi, one of the assault victims suffered serious body injuries. Agirembabazi says his investigating team has already recorded statements from Lutabi and discovered that the attack had ingredients of torture. Agirembabazi says UHRC has also dispatched a team to Kalisizo prison to interrogate the torture suspects.

He says the investigations will reveal whether or not the victims qualify for compensation. Frank Baine, the Spokesperson of Uganda Prisons Department says they are ready to defend torture claims against their officers. He says that their own investigations show no torture was orchestrated against the reporters. Baine instead claims that their preliminary investigations show that the reporters entered Kalisizo prison without authorization. He also claims that the journalists assaulted the the warders and injured them. Baine says that they have evidence pinning the reporters for assaulting the prison warders. 


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.