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Ugandan police accused of torturing suspects in spokesman's murder

Ugandan police accused of torturing suspects in spokesman's murder


9 more suspects have been charged with the murder of Ugandan police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was killed in mid-March along with his driver and bodyguard.

Thirteen suspects who were charged on April 21 and presented before court last Friday complained of starvation and torture in detention.

Their complaints, which were disregarded by Nakawa Magistrates Court, followed another case of torture suffered by Geoffrey Byamukama, who is the mayor of Kamwenge Town Council.

The mayor was arrested on April 5, detained and tortured by security officials in connection with the murder of the police spokesman, local media reported.

We do not condone torture ... it is not our method of work.

He was reportedly abandoned at a hospital two weeks ago with wounds and in a bad condition.

“He told me that he was tortured by beating him with different tools until he developed wounds while he was at Nalufenya … He told me that he has been in hospital for two weeks, but his condition is still not good. The wounds are still fresh. I can tell you he is a very innocent man,” the speaker of the town council Eric Rugyenye told local media the Daily Monitor.

The police denied torturing the mayor and the other suspects in the murder of the police spokesman.

“We do not condone torture … it is not our method of work,” new police spokesman, Asan Kasingye told Reuters, adding that two security personnel had been arrested in connection with Byamukama’s torture but gave no further details.

The mayor said he was kept at the Nalufenya police cells where the other suspects were kept, but was not charged like the other 22 suspects.

A suspect told the judge last Friday that “they were placed in handcuffs 24 hours a day and we are about to die of hunger”.

“You ordered that we should be taken to Luzira Maximum Prison but instead those policemen before you, took us to Nalufenya police cells where we have been constantly tortured, both physically and psychologically,” another one said during the hearing.

One of the suspects, Abdul Rashid Mbaziira, had his 15 children picked up by the police after their father and his wives were arrested.

The police released the children on Friday to their mothers who were released earlier, local media report.

The reportedly frail looking suspects charged with terrorism, murder and aggravated robbery were remanded till May 15.

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi was murdered together with his bodyguard, Kenneth Erwau and driver Godfrey Wambewo.

The three policemen were shot dead in a car by unknown assailants riding motorcycles in the capital Kampala.

Police spokesperson, Asan Kasingye, who succeeded Kaweesi said the motive for the killing was still not known.

The police are on a hunt to apprehend other suspects who are still on the run.

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