Police officers stealing from suspects says Police boss

The Aswa River Regional Police Commander ( RPC) has warned police officers against manhandling and robbing suspects claiming  that they are acting on orders from above.
 
RPC Damalie Nachuha says as human beings police officers should use their rational judgment every time they are executing their duties in keeping law and order.  

Reports by Uganda Human Rights Commission have for years put Uganda Police Force at the top of the list of human rights violators. 

While addressing police officers from Lango and Acholi Sub-region during a training on Human Rights Standards in Kitgum Municipality on Monday, Nachuha acknowledged the report, and warned them against violating the rights of any civilian or suspect, saying they will be treated as individual offenders and the police force will not be dragged into their matter.

Nachuha also warned the police officers against stealing property belonging to suspects, including exhibits. 

This follows complaints from the public about police withholding or not giving back items taken from suspects when they are arrested and detained.  

Nachuha reveals that she has got reports from the Police Standards Unit, PSU that some police officers intentionally ignore to record the property of suspects in their detention cells with the aim of stealing them.  

Robert Kotchani, the country representative of UN Human Rights in Uganda, said security forces play a very crucial role in the protection and promotion of human rights and therefore need constant engagement with human rights bodies for more knowledge, skills, and capacity in promoting human rights in their day-to-day operations. 

Uganda is among the countries that have ratified almost all international human rights instruments, including the Convention Against Torture of 1984.

 In 2021, Uganda also enacted the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, as one of the ways to fight torture. However, allegations of torture of civilians by state agents prevail. 

Kotchani says the challenge remains to translate such laws and policies into action, hence the need for such trainings to promote awareness and compliance by the security personnel.

Kotchani notes that the training of police officers on human rights is part of the wider effort by UN Human Rights to strengthen the rule of law and accountability for human rights violations in Uganda. 

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