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Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Communications to and from Governments, A/HRC/14/24/Add.1,18 June 2010: Uganda

Uganda: Death in custody of Brian Mpadde 

Violation alleged: Deaths in custody owing to torture, neglect, or the use of force, or fear of death in custody due to life-threatening conditions of detention.

Subject(s) of appeal: 1 males (death in custody) and 8 others.

Character of reply: No response

Observations of the Special Rapporteur: The Special Rapporteur regrets that the Government of Uganda has failed to cooperate with the mandate that he has been given by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.

Urgent appeal dated 12 November 2009, sent with the Working Group on arbitrary detention, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

1126. In this connection, we would like to draw the attention of your Excellency’s Government to information we have received regarding the detention of nine men under Penal Act Code Article 145(a) and the alleged ill treatment of two of the detainees, one of which died immediately upon release from prison.

According to the information received:

Consensual homosexual conduct is a criminal offence in Uganda, punishable, in some cases, with life imprisonment. At present people suspected of homosexual conduct are being prosecuted on the charge of ‘carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature’ under Penal Act Code Article 145 (a). Reportedly, nine men are currently being detained on this charge and have been held in detention for over 90 days without trial. They were allegedly arrested without warrant or other permission by local police officers in some cases cooperating with the Local Council Officials, on the basis of unfounded allegations of homosexuality made by fellow villagers. They have then been detained for extended periods of time, longer than the maximum of 48 hours, during which time some men were beaten by other detainees and police, forced to undergo invasive medical examinations, and were denied access to necessary health care.

Details regarding each of the individuals are outlined below:

1134. In view of the urgency of the matter, we would appreciate a response on the initial steps taken by your Excellency’s Government to safeguard the rights of the abovementioned persons in compliance with the above international instruments.

1135. Moreover, it is our responsibility under the mandates provided to us by the Human Rights Council, to seek to clarify all cases brought to our attention. Since we are expected to report on these cases to the Human Rights Council, we would be grateful for your cooperation and your observations on the following matters, when relevant to the case under consideration:

  1. Are the facts alleged pertaining to the arrests and detention of the nine men listed above correct?
  2. Please provide the details, and where available the results, of any investigation, medical examinations, and judicial or other inquiries carried out in relation to these nine cases. If no inquiries have taken place, or if they have been inconclusive, please explain why.
  3. Please indicate which measures were taken to address the medical needs of Mr. Brian Mpadde and Mr. Fred Wasukira following the injuries they sustained as a result of the alleged beatings, and to ensure the right to the highest attainable standard of health. If no measures were taken, please explain why.
  4. What measures have been taken to ensure non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the realization of the right to health?
  5. Please indicate the legal basis for the arrest and detention of these persons and how these measures are compatible with applicable international human rights principles and standards as contained, inter alia, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

link to text of extract: Communications-SR Executions-Uganda-Mpadde-2010-eng

Link to full text of the report: Communications-SR Executions-2010-eng