Police has dispelled comments made by former State House staff, Charles Rwomushana, saying he was tortured while in detention.
Rwomushana was arrested last week and detained at Kireka Special Investigations Divisions [SID] for circulating a picture alleged to be that of a “dead” Amama Mbabazi’s chief of security, Christopher Aine.
Rwomushana told New Vision, Uganda’s leading daily newspaper, that he was tortured by security operatives at Kireka.
This is what police says:
In the New vision newspaper of Thursday, 14th January, 2016, Charles Rwomushana, a political activist, made allegations of torture during the process of his arrest and detention, by detectives from the Special Investigations Division, Kireka, who are conducting inquiries over his alleged unauthorized modification of computer material and promotion of sectarianism.
The suspect also maintained on BBC Africa that the police had technically failed to prove the questionable composite images of a “dead Aine” posted on various social media sites and also published in the Red Pepper newspaper of Thursday, 7th January, 2016.
We wish to categorically state that both stories are misleading and factually incorrect and would like to correct them as follows;
It is true; Charles Rwomushana was arrested on the evening of Friday, 8th January, 2016, and detained at the Special Investigations Division, Kireka for questioning.
The facility is a friendly environment where suspects in criminal cases are occasionally detained and interviewed in the presence of their legal counsels.
There has not been any cases of torture documented at the facility, and in this particular case, the suspect was detained among others and allowed visitors at scheduled hours thrice a day.
Many authorized bodies like the UHRC, ICRC, IGG, Judiciary and DPP regularly visit police cells countrywide and no signs of torture while in police custody have been documented.
It must be noted that during his interview, detectives interacted with him in a friendly manner, and recorded his statement without any use of force, threat or intimidation, which he freely endorsed.
The claim therefore, that he was tortured while in custody is a product of a deliberate and calculated lie on his part, driven by his hostility against the police and desire to smear them, while seeking sympathy at the same time.
Nevertheless, we would like to task him to provide evidence substantiating his claims, for an internal investigation to be jointly conducted by the Directorate of Legal services and Human Rights, and the Professional Standards Unit.
In the alternative, an independent inquiry could be conducted outside the police, to determine whether he was tortured into making a statement or not.
However, 3 days since his release from custody, no official complaint has been filed for any legal action.
Meanwhile, investigations into the authenticity and editing history of the picture to establish whether it is a composite or not, is in place, after samples were submitted for forensic analysis.
The forensic report will help curtail any further speculation about the integrity of the image.
We wish to add that although the whereabouts of Aine Christopher are still undetermined, we are investigating several leads and possible avenues, received thus far regarding his alleged disappearance.
In addition we demand from Charles Rwomushana, the corpse of Aine Christopher, since he posted images of alleged corpse and maintains belief that it is him.
It is against this background that the public is warned against the rampant misuse of media to peddle malicious and damaging information that can overwhelm, cause panic and animosity in society, especially among the youth, and instead express their opinions in a peaceful, respectful and lawful manner.
CP Fred Enanga
Press and Public Relations Officer